High-Speed Police Chase
Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. ___ (2007)
Law enforcement did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against an unreasonable seizure during a high-speed chase that ended with a car crash that left the 19-year-old driver paralyzed.
The media glamorizes high-speed police chases as dangerous but exciting. However, this case asks where the responsibility lies in a chase that ends with 19-year-old Victor Harris becoming a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. Was the chase – and its outcome – a consequence of Harris breaking the law or did police use excessive force to end the chase? Did the police exceed the limits of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure? Two lower courts disagreed on the key issue. The Supreme Court determined the final outcome. How would you decide?