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Sixth Circuit hold that 911 "hang up" justifies police entry into home

In a tragic case arising out of mental illness, Xavier Johnson was killed after police entered his home in response to a 911 "hang up" call.  Johnson was bipolar and had stopped taking his medication.  His wife had called 911 in the middle of the night, but hung up when she saw an opportunity to leave the house.  She called dispatchers back later to explain, but they did not reach the responding officers before the police entered the home through an open door.  Once in the home, a brief altercation occurred in the dark between Johnson and the officers and Johnson was fatally shot.

The Court held that the officers were within their rights in entering the home in response to the 911 call, and that their entry was not a violation of the 4th Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches.  As a result, there was no 1983 violation of civil rights and the City owed no compensation to Johnson's family for his death.

The case is Monica Johnson v. City of Memphis.

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