City Thinks Cops Can Legally Murder Undocumented Immigrants
According to the City of Southaven, Mississippi, undocumented immigrants don't have a right to not be murdered in their own homes.
In the middle of the night on July 27, 2017, two Southaven police officers went to the wrong house with no warrant. They then shot Ismael Lopez in the back of the head, killing him instantly. And now, they want a court to say that this was all fine, because Lopez didn't have the right not to be murdered in his own home.
In a motion to dismiss brief in Linares v. Southaven, Katherine Kerby, the lawyer for the City of Southaven and Zachary Durden, the officer who killed Mr. Lopez, makes the insane argument that undocumented immigrants have no constitutional rights and can therefore be summarily executed with no constitutional violations.
This is an actual argument the City and man who killed Mr. Lopez make:
Ismael Lopez may have been a person on American soil but hew as not one of the "We, the People of the United States" entitled to the civil rights invoked in this lawsuit. The Fourth Amendment explicitly states that it's coverage extends to the "right of the people." This refers to members of the polity of the United States.
They add that, even Lopez had Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment civil rights,"they were lost by his own conduct and misconduct."
Just to be clear, this is all racist bullshit
You probably knew that already, but our laws and court system are also racist bullshit, so I can understand if you weren't 100% sure.
Since this apparently needs to be said: UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS HAVE CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT NOT TO BE MURDERED.
This brief is so dumb, evil, and batshit insane, that it is painful to read. I contemplated banging my head against the wall to try to kill some brain cells, in the hopes it would help me understand it, but in the end I decided that probably wasn't worth it.
Southaven and Durden's main argument, difficult as it is to discern through the incoherent babble that permeates the briefing, seems to be that because Lopez was undocumented, he had no entitlement to those pesky rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and equal protection of the laws spelled out in the 14th Amendment. This argument would allow the government to murder, torture, and steal from undocumented immigrants at will. It would result in a police state. Neighborhood executions. Legal murder.
For a look at the voracity of this argument, let's take a look at the relevant portion of the Fourteenth Amendment, shall we?
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SEEMS PRETTY CLEAR.
As if all of this weren't horrific enough, the defendants briefs are also careful to really twist the knife and make sure they're hurting Lopez's grieving family as much as they possibly can. In addition to arguing that they have the right to murder immigrants, the City and police officers make a bunch of outrageous claims about Lopez's family, essentially arguing that his wife and child are not actually his wife and child.
The defendants call Lopez's wife, Claudia Linares, a "bigamous paramour" and say she is without credibility." (Fuck you.) And they say she has no standing because she has allegedly committed crimes that she was never convicted of. (Not a thing.)
The lawyer who made these absolutely appalling arguments is Katherine S. Kerby of the Kerby Law Firm in Columbus, Mississippi.
Her website, like her brief, made my eyes bleed. I think racist grandma might have even coded it herself.
Eat shit, Kerby.
Luckily, the plaintiffs' representatives were on it and ready for this craziness. They did a great job of responding to this absolute fuckery in their response opposing defendants' bullshit motion to dismiss.
The plaintiffs' lawyers, Michael Carr of the Carr Law Firm and Murray Wells of Wells & Associates, were unamused by the City's bullshit and completely skewered them with their response. As they note, "Defendants fabricate an argument replete with misleading facts, if not outright falsehoods, and a plethora of red herring defenses."
As the plaintiffs summarize:
Faced with ... clear statutory authority vested in Claudia Linares to bring claims against Defendants for the wrongful death of her husband, Ismael Lopez, in addition to myriad claims arising from the brutality of his death and the pain and suffering resulting therefrom, Defendants resorted to fabricating facts. Specifically, Defendants falsely claimed that "[Claudia] Linares has no standing due to her status as a common law only claimed marital relationship." Defendants then proceeded to offer a string of false and highly offensive alternatives to describe the marital relationship between Claudia Linares and Ismael Lopez.
They also summed up the defendants' briefing pretty well:
The broad and unsupported statements set forth in [defendants' briefs] cause their precise argument to be unclear. Furthermore, Defendants' arguments are not only confusing and unsubstantiated, they are a collection of factual misrepresentations, void of controlling or persuasive law, replete with xenophobic undertones, and a non-judicious use of this Court's time and resources, as well as the time and resources of Plaintiffs. Notwithstanding Defendants' failure to truthfully articulate a cohesive argument regarding the Plaintiffs' standing, Plaintiffs make a good faith effort to address same.
To rebut the bizarre claim that Ismael Lopez's wife, Claudia Linares, wasn't actually his wife, plaintiffs attach their marriage license -- though not without a little much-needed snark.
It is not customary or required to attach marriage certificates to pleadings such as Complaint for Damages. Notwithstanding, due to the malicious and false allegations made by Defendants, attached hereto as Exhibit "1" is a copy of the Certificate of Marriage issued to Claudia Linares and Ismael Lopez by the State of Arkansas, County of Crittenden.
Some other highlights from the plaintiffs' response include little gems like:
It is obvious from their briefs that these Defendants are unfamiliar with estate and probate matters and did not make the effort to familiarize themselves with same prior to filing their Briefs.
Defendants failed to cite even persuasive authority to support their allegations for one simple reason: none exists.
Now let's sanction those assholes!
In addition to opposing the defendants' motions to dismiss, the plaintiffs suggest the judge sanction the defendants for their bullshit. As the plaintiffs note:
Defendants offered numerous items of unsubstantiated, extraneous evidence to support his baseless arguments, which serve no purpose other than a malign attempt to discredit and embarrass the grieving children and wife of Ismael Lopez.
"Defendants' wanton disregard for the facts at the expense of a grieving widow," they argue, should be acknowledged by the court.
Federal Rule of Procedure 11 gives judges the authority to sanction parties and lawyers for misconduct. The plaintiffs argue the defendants' baseless accusations about Claudia Linares were not only without merit, but that they were for no other purpose than to harass a dead man's family.
For Defendants to dishonor the sanctity of the marriage of Claudia Linares and Ismael Lopez with their malign allegations of bigamy and condescending description of Claudia Linares as a live-in girlfriend is reprehensible. For Defendants to make these false statements based on nothing more than "information" is something beyond reprehensible; it is sanctionable.
As the plaintiffs note, with their disgusting allegations, "Defendants did not merely deny the marriage of Claudia Linares and Ismael Lopez. Rather, Defendants sought to harass and embarrass Claudia Linares[.]" And, when they accused Ms. Linares of having committed crimes, the defendants, "without any evidence or condition of statement, acted as judge and jury," all while "fail[ing] to appreciate they have neither the authority nor the evidence" to do so.
As for Southaven and Durden, they recently filed their reply briefs. And if you had thought they might have come to their senses and tried to make a mea culpa, you'd be wrong. Katherine Kerby, a lawyer, still seems to truly believe that cops can just murder undocumented immigrants whenever they feel like it.
At least this time she doesn't call the widow of the man her client murdered a whore?
Congratulations to Katherine Kerby for writing possibly the worst thing I've ever seen. And I read the cease and desist letter Diamond and Silk's in-basement counsel sent us.
Hopefully Northern District of Mississippi Judge Biggers will immediately rule against and sanction Southaven, Durden, and Kerby.
As much as people like Katherine Kerby and Donald Trump wish we lived in a police state, technically we still don't.