9th Circuit Reiterates That Officers' $225k Theft Is Not an Unreasonable Seizure

Secure your valuables and get ready for a fun ride. No, really. You should probably secure your valuables.

According to the Ninth Circuit, it is not a constitutional violation to unlawfully seize $225k when the stolen property is covered by warrant. As such, officers who steal from suspects are still accorded qualified immunity for that theft –­­ provided that the officers only steal certain property a certain way.

The case stems from an investigation into illegal gambling machines in Fresno, California. The plaintiffs in Jessop v. City of Fresno allege the officers seized $275,000 in cash and property during their investigation but listed only $50,000 in the inventory sheet. The $225,000 allegedly went into the officer’s voluminous pockets.

The district court judge dismissed the case on summary judgment, finding that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. The plaintiffs, who ran coin-operated arcade games, were never charged with a crime. One of the police officers, however, was later arrested on a federal bribery charge for an unrelated incident and is no longer a Fresno officer.

Read more at https://blogs.findlaw.com/ninth_circuit/2019/09/9th-circuit-reiterates-t...