Sixth Circuit overturns trial judge's ruling arising out of police raid by masked law enforcement officers
Geraldine and Caroline Burley filed suit against a number of police officers and agencies after "masked law enforcement agents, dressed in black, with guns drawn, broke into [their] home" and "refused to identify themselves." The trial judge had summarily dismissed the claims against local, state and federal agents and the Burleys appealed.
The Sixth Circuit concluded that the dismissal was inappropriate and that this may be an appropriate case for shifting the burden of identifying the at-fault officers from the Plaintiffs to the Defendants. Given the officers' intentional concealment of identity and their "I wasn't there" defense, the Court concluded that the burden of proving non-involvement should be shifted to the defendants.