The Supreme Court on Monday revived a case brought by parents who said their son, Nicholas Gilbert, died in police custody in St. Louis after law enforcement officers placed their weight on his back as he was shackled face down.
The justices sent the case back down to the lower court to reconsider the claim of excessive force.
In court papers, the parents compared elements of the death of their son, who was White, with the 2020 murder of George Floyd, a Black man. The allegation produced an angry response from the city, which accused the parents of using the death of Floyd “as a cudgel to try to browbeat this Court into reviewing a case that is a straightforward application of basic Fourth Amendment procedures.”
The case was being watched for any signal of the justices’ willingness to step in and offer more definitive guidance on the legal doctrine of qualified immunity that shields law enforcement from liability for constitutional violations including allegations of excessive force.
The opinion was unsigned from which Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented.
This story is breaking and will be updated.