In 2019 officers from the Chino (California) Police Department pulled over 83-year-old Elise Brown.
They thought the car she was driving had been stolen – mistakenly, it turns out – and, following their protocol, they drew their handguns, handcuffed Brown and forced her to her knees.
A federal appeals court this year ruled that Brown could sue the police for excessive force, waiving qualified immunity, USA Today reports.
The Supreme Court on Monday let that lower court ruling stand, keeping Brown's lawsuit alive.
The Chino Police Department officers argue they were simply following protocols.
“Ms. Brown was terrified, humiliated, and emotionally traumatized,” her lawyer told the Supreme Court. “That conduct was not reasonable; it was extraordinarily dangerous and flatly inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive force.”