In 1989, members of Amnesty America entered an abortion clinic in West Hartford, Connecticut, chained themselves together, and blocked the entrance. When police arrived, the protesters used passive resistance to continue their protest (among their techniques: covering their hands in maple syrup to make handcuffs less useful).
The police dragged the protesters out anyway, and Amnesty America members sued, saying several of them suffered lasting physical damage from the police officers' actions (among the claims: an officer rammed a protester's head into a wall).
A district court issued a summary judgment for the town of West Hartford, but Sotomayor's Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the judgment and sent it back to the lower court for a jury trial.
"It is entirely possible that a reasonable jury would find, as the district court intimated, that the police officers' use of force was objectively reasonable given the circumstances and the plaintiffs' resistance techniques," Sotomayor wrote. ...1