What was the outcome of the Tennessee v. Garner case?


Quick Answer

In Tennessee v. Garner (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s opinion that a Tennessee law allowing for the use of deadly force on an escaped felon or suspect violated the Fourth Amendment, according to Oyez. The escapee was not an imminent threat.

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Full Answer

The court ruled that the police must exhibit probable cause of danger in order to shoot an escapee. Under the Fourth Amendment, the act of shooting an escapee was a seizure, explains Oyez.

Edward Eugene Garner was an unarmed teenager who allegedly stole items from a home and fled from the police. While attempting to escape over a fence, a police officer shot him per state law involving hot pursuit.

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