Court Denies Qualified Immunity To Cops Who Beat An Innocent Man To Death

The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously denied qualified immunity to two officers who beat, punched, tased, and kicked Kendole Joseph, an unarmed man suffering from a mental health crisis in Gretna, Louisiana. During this eight-minute long episode of police brutality, Joseph endured 26 blunt-force injuries all over his body; he died in the hospital two days later. Police never accused Joseph of any criminal wrongdoing, while according to his family, he wasn’t actively resisting arrest. 

“We are entitled to count on law enforcement to use no more force than necessary,” Judge Don Willett wrote for the court. “And we are entitled to enforce that standard as a matter of constitutional law when officers fail to honor it.”

In February 2017, the assistant principal of a middle school in Gretna saw a “strange guy” (Joseph) in front of her school, who was “nervous and shaky,” muttering to

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