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SCOTUS: Does the ADA apply to arrests and detentions?




A March 12, 2015 photo shows the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
A March 12, 2015 photo shows the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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The Supreme Court hears oral argument on “City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan,” a case that could have huge implications for the treatment of the disabled and the mentally ill by police.

The case centers around the 2008 shooting of Teresa Sheehan, a mentally ill woman living in San Francisco, by two police officers. Police were called to the group home where Sheehan was staying to help transport her to a mental health facility. The two officers charged into the room without waiting for backup and shot her at least five times after she lunged at them with a knife.

Sheehan survived and sued the police. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February upheld her right to sue. And now the Supreme Court will get to decide.

At issue is whether the Americans with Disability Act requires police officers to provide reasonable accommodations and change their procedures when they are taking an armed and mentally ill person into custody.

Guests:

Claudia Center, Senior Staff Attorney specializing in disability rights for the ACLU. The organization filed an amicus brief on “City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan”

Lisa Soronen, Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center, which provides legal support to states and local governments in connection with Supreme Court cases. The organization filed an amicus brief on “City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan”