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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitU.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ()

A civil rights case over a raid on a Florida barbershop has settled for $125,000, leaving unresolved a federal appeals question about whether law enforcement officers can be liable for constitutional violations committed by other officers. The issue was important enough that the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard en banc arguments in the case in February, but it promptly ordered the case to mediation.

The case stemmed from an August 2010 raid on a barbershop by Orange County, Fla., sheriff’s officers and representatives of the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Two days before the raid, state inspectors had walked through the barbershop and found no violations, according to a decision by a three-judge Eleventh Circuit panel.

But the inspectors came back with officers from the sheriff’s office, some of whom wore masks and bulletproof vests and had their guns drawn. The officers ordered all customers, including children getting back-to-school cuts, to exit the shop and announced the store was “closed down indefinitely.” Two barbers were handcuffed, as was the shop’s owner, and another barber was told to “sit down and shut up.”

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