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The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides protection for individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court and circuit courts alike have repeatedly analyzed the definition and applicability of the word “seizure,” along with the requisite amount of force needed to constitute a seizure, in a continued effort to safeguard against violation of the Fourth Amendment. In Brooks v. Gaenzle, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit considered whether shooting a suspect in the back as he successfully fled from pursuit could be construed as a seizure, and therefore represent a violation of the suspect’s constitutional rights. The court held that no Fourth Amendment violation took place, because a clear restraint of freedom of movement must occur in order for a seizure to result.
Keith Brooks and Nick Acevedo broke into a home on October 17, 2005, with the intent to burglarize it. When neighbors called police, El Paso County Sherriff’s Department deputies, Steve Gaenzle and Paul Smith, responded and found the suspects in the home’s garage. Brooks and Acevedo fled into the house, shut the door, and fired one gunshot through the closed door at the officers. Unharmed by the gunshot, the two officers ran from the garage and witnessed Brooks fleeing from the house and climbing a fence. Gaenzle yelled “stop” and fired a shot at Brooks, striking him in the lower back. Wounded, Brooks continued over the fence and fled the scene, but police captured him three days later after another chase. . .
The United States judiciary will defer to the executive branch on matters of foreign policy and national security when evaluating the need for secrecy. The state secrets doctrine, a common-law evidentiary privilege, permits the government to bar the disclosure of information that poses a reasonable danger of exposing military matters that should not be divulged in the interest of national security. In Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit considered the government’s motions to intervene in and dismiss—on state secrets grounds—an action brought by foreign nationals against a company that purportedly assisted in the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) “extraordinary rendition” program. On rehearing en banc, the court of appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment and held that the plaintiffs’ action must be dismissed at the pleadings stage, in the interest of national security. . .