THOMAS, et al V. UNITED STATES, et al

US APP 95-5340

Docket Sheet | Contents | USDC CA 94-2427

Death on a White House Sidewalk

On December 20, 1994 millions watched on national T.V. as Marcelino Corneil was shot to death on the White House sidewalk by U.S. Park Police "Officer "X." Common knowledge of the case is very broad and equally shallow.

Particularly disturbed because Mr. Corneilís gratuitous death seemed to symbolize the ultimate abuse of police power, on December 22, 1994 Concepcion Picciotto, Ellen and Williiam Thomas, three individuals who have maintained a year- round, round-the-clock vigil in Lafayette Park since 1981, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court.

The Lafayette Park vigilers weren't the only ones asking questions. On December 23, 1994, in "Death on a White House Sidewalk," a Washington Post editorial articulated most of the agreed-upon facts, raised many pertenient issues, and called upon the U.S. attorney to review the shooting in an "objective, fair and honest" manner.

That never happened. Although District Court Judge Charles Richey held three hearings, and amassed over 120 documents, he heard no evidence, but dismissed the the complaint on the theory of "qualified immunity," so the issues remain unanswered and the triggerman still known only as "Officer X."

Concepcion, Ellen and Thomas are appealing Judge Richey's "qualified immunity" dismissal, at a time when the "qualitied immunity" issue has appeals court judges accusing one another of judicial activism and "riding roughshod over the Constitution".

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