Justice Sonia Sotomayor …penned a powerful dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sharply criticizing her colleagues’ willingness to ignore a possible instance of police brutality. …It serves as a warning to us all that the court’s excessive force jurisprudence has gone lethally off track—especially when the victims are minority men.
Sotomayor cited a study showing that “nearly half of the individuals shot by Los Angeles police after allegedly reaching for their waistbands turned out to be unarmed.” She also cited an entire Washington Post article by Radley Balko collecting instances of what Balko calls “ ‘unarmed man reaches for his waistband’ shootings.”
…Officers have used this defense across the country, often after killing minority men. The courts, Sotomayor suggested on Monday, have become complicit in this injustice.