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No Constitutional Rights for Undocumented Immigrant Accidentally Shot by Police, Says Grand Jury

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There is a landmark case that is being challenged in Southaven, Mississippi, over constitutional rights. Ismael Lopez, an undocumented immigrant, was accidentally shot by police on July 24th, 2017. After a lengthy court battle, a Grand Jury ruled in favor of the city, saying the police officer and city were exempt from any guilt because of the immigration status of the person who was shot. The city argued that Lopez had no constitutional rights due to his undocumented status. The ruling attempts to set a new precedent, claiming that the U.S. Constitution does not protect undocumented persons. Lopez was shot in his mobile home park in Southaven, Mississippi. Police knocked on Lopez’s door by accident, instead of their intended domestic assault suspect, and began shooting. Lopez had already died from a gunshot wound to the head by the time paramedics had arrived.

The Constitution typically protects people under these circumstances. The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fourteenth Amendment provides equal protection for all citizens under the law. The attorney for the police officer involved in the shooting as well as the city, Katherine Kirby, successfully argued that Lopez lacked protections under these amendments. The Lopez family attorney, Wells, has argued that all people on United States territory have constitutional rights, giving Lopez rights through the 14th Amendment.

A motion from court documents explained this idea, stating that Ismael Lopez’s lack of citizenship in the United States when he was shot voids these rights. As a result, it said, there was no legal grounds for this case based on his status as undocumented. Lopez was a 41-year old auto mechanic who also mentored teens and fixed friends and neighbors’ cars for free.

The family of Lopez filed a civil action lawsuit in response to the jury’s decision and is seeking $20 million in damages for his wrongful death. The civil lawsuit was filed in June 2019. Attorneys have stated that Claudia Linares, Lopez’s widow, will be unable to sue due to her status as an undocumented immigrant. Murray Wells, the attorney for Linare, says that this interpretation of the Constitution that excludes non-citizen residents impedes the process of due process and for what the Constitution stands. He continues by saying that he was disgusted by the decision of the Grand Jury. Attorneys also accused Linares of not actually being married to Lopez, which was disproved by her attorneys when they filed her 2003 marriage certificate. There has been controversy over the city’s accusations towards Linares and her lawyer asked the judge to consider sanctioning the city for their actions.

“This could lead to a slippery slope effect that could affect similar cases. Such a ruling goes against past rulings that state that all persons in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, are protected by the U.S. constitution,” says immigration attorney Natalia Segermeister of Price Benowitz LLP. This controversial ruling could potentially be sanctioned under Federal rules of procedure.

A multi-lingual talent head, Jimmy is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.

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Types of Collisions and Fault in Idaho

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Idaho is a beautiful place to call home. However, no matter where you live in the United States, it is important to learn about accident laws, and liabilities. These can eat a fortune through insurance payments, medical bills, and other liabilities. Idaho laws operate on a comparative fault negligence basis, meaning the ability to recover liabilities of the party is based on their comparative fault in a collision. For example, if you have suffered damages worth $100,000, and the jury determines that you were at 60% fault, you will only be able to recover damages worth $40,000. Also be sure to hire local help in dealing with the legal process including a Boise Idaho auto accident lawyer. Local help brings in many hidden advantages. 

Rear-End Collision 

If you are new to Idaho, remember that if you are hit from a rear end, it is virtually never your fault. The law in set in place to make sure motorists does not speed, always watch out for their surroundings, and ensure accidents do not happen. This law works to your advantage, even if you are hit from rear end during an auto-accident. These are also some of the easiest legal investigations to prove. If your car has been damaged from the rear end, and the other party’s from the front-end, there is very little need for further investigation. However, even in such cases, if you have driven recklessly before, like driving without the tail lights, or without breaks, can result in significant damages to you. So, be sure to keep the car in optimum conditions during a collision.  

Turning Left

When you plan on turning left on roads, it is your responsibility to stop, and look for cars coming in from other directions. If a motor comes in straight, and hits you when you are trying to turn left, it is almost always your fault. The exception to this rule is rare, and hard to prove. The exception like in rear end collisions depends on the recklessness of the other party including being above the set speed limit, running a red light, or unexpected slow movement. 

If you would detailed information, you can download ‘Rules of the Road’ a simplified version of the ‘Vehicle Code’. You can also find the same in a law library nearby. The document is usually available online on the website of your state department of motor vehicle. 

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