The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted requests by police officers in separate cases from California and Oklahoma for legal protection under a doctrine called "qualified immunity" from lawsuits accusing them of using excessive force.
The justices overturned a lower court's decision allowing a trial in a lawsuit against officers Josh Girdner and Brandon Vick over the fatal shooting of a hammer-wielding man in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
They also overturned a lower court's decision to deny a request by Union City, California police officer Daniel Rivas-Villegas for qualified immunity in a lawsuit accusing him of using excessive force while handcuffing a suspect.
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