Justices object as Supreme Court turns back police abuse case

According to the suit filed by Jody Lombardo, Gilbert was placed in handcuffs, leg irons, and police restrained him. Gilbert tried to hang himself from the cell before his death. He struggled when officers placed him face-down and called out "It hurts." The court ordered Gilbert to stop.The Supreme Court opinion stated that it is not clear whether the court considered the use of a restraint in prone position, regardless of its intensity or duration, constitutional. As long as the individual resists officers attempts to subdue them, it is constitutional. The Supreme Court opinion also stated that Gilbert's use of handcuffs, leg shackles, and time Gilbert was held face down were potentially important. However, the appeals court decision did not address these issues.The high court appeared to be admonishing the appeals court judges, saying that the case was being remitted to them in order to allow the court to use an inquiry that clearly addresses the facts and circumstances when answering the questions in the first place.Justice Samuel Alito, in a dissenting opinion, criticized Justice Alito for his harsher critique Monday. He argued that most of his coworkers had backed out by failing to grant full review and have the case argued before the justices.Unfortunately, the Court is not willing to make the difficult choice between denial of the petition (and the criticism that it would undoubtedly elicit), or granting plenary reviews (and the work that it would entail), Alito wrote, in an opinion that was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Justices Clarence Thomas.The case was thrown into disarray by the high courts. It came just three days after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer was sentenced to 22.5 years for second-degree murder. He had been kneeling on George Floyd's neck for nine minutes.Floyd was Black, and Floyd's death spurred anger at racial discrimination within policing. Gilbert was white. Both incidents have led to calls for police not to use dangerous restraint techniques, which can cause problems with the breathing of suspects and worsen medical conditions.Alito stated Monday that the majority of the 8th Circuit's decision to not square up to Gilberts parents suit was an absurd interpretation.While this Court may find it convenient, the Court of Appeals finds it unfair. The George W. Bush appointee stated that we cannot expect lower courts to follow our decisions.Alito stated that the 8th Circuit couldn't have meant that prone restraints were always constitutional.Imagine that officers weighing a combined 1,000 pounds placed their weight on the backs of infirm and frail detainees, and used all their strength to press his chest into concrete floors for more than an hour. They did not stop when the detainee cried, "Youre killing me!" and caused fatal injuries. Is the Supreme Court really assuming that the Court of Appeals may have believed that such extreme force was reasonable?Alito stated that he was still not satisfied with the outcome of the suit over Gilbert's death. He also said that although some force was appropriate under the circumstances, serious injuries were inflicted by the officers.There are two options available to us: either deny review of fact-bound questions in the case or grant the petition. We can then have the case briefed, argued and decided on the actual issue. Alito said that while I support the latter option, we shouldn't take the easy route chosen by the Court.Unsigned, four-page opinions of the courts addressed Alito's criticisms briefly. A footnote stated that although the dissenters wanted the appeals court to have the benefit, it was prudent to return the case back to the lower court for more explanation.