The case of A.D. v. California Highway Patrol arose out of a deadly force police shooting in the Bay Area in 2006. The mother of the plaintiffs was shot and killed by a CHP officer after a high-speed chase through Oakland and San Francisco.
The chase ended when the mother crashed the car into a fence. Her life ended when one of the CHP officers decided to shoot her 12 times (until his gun was empty) instead of using other methods to subdue and/or take her into custody -- a decision the jury concluded evidenced the kind of subjective intent to harm required for a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process violation in the case of a deadly force police shooting.
The victim had no weapons. No other officer at the scene felt as if he or she was in imminent danger. The supervisor at the scene told the shooting officer to stop shooting (which he disregarded) and although a number of the officers present had their guns drawn none moved to pull the trigger.
The Ninth Circuit rejected the shooting officer's argument that he should have been entitled to qualified immunity, holding that: "it would be 'clear to a reasonable officer' that killing a person with no legitimate law enforcement purpose violates the Constitution.... This is one of those rare cases in which the constitutional right at issue is defined by a standard that is so 'obvious' that we must conclude—based on the jury's finding—that qualified immunity is inapplicable, even without a case directly on point."