Originally Posted by molar
While the individual officer may have qualified immunity, the individual arrested will obtain a settlement against the municipallity. It makes no sense to train officers to make unlawful arrests.
Whether the municipality is liable depends on other factors. For example, they might provide evidence that they did not order the arrest and in fact discouraged it. If I had a nickel for every agency written policy that flatly contradicts another written policy of the same agency, thus enabling pick-and-choose enforcement, I would have a tall stack of nickels.
As to whether it makes sense or not, this is up to the agencies. The very fact that many do it quite openly suggests that some agencies would disagree with you. See, for example, http://www.pixiq.com/article/florida...gal-guidelines
Here is another example: As of today, about half of the counties in Florida openly defy state pre-emption and prosecute gun-owners based on local ordinances which have been ruled void by the state. In the words of an academy instructor whom I once interviewed, "This is Orlando, not Tallahassee."
I am not saying that it is a common or long-lasting phenomenon. But when there is a mismatch between culture and law, laws are often misstated by police instructors. The problem goes away when popular culture catches up.
Personally, I believe that sometime within the next few years a LEO will be laughed out of federal court when his lawyer argues that he is did not know that videoing police in public was legal. Until then, we are stuck with the mismatch.
[If you are interested, I would be happy to provide examples of similar mismatches throughout U.S. history. FWIW, my favorite examples (on which my dissertation was based) are mismatches about "racial" classification along the Gulf coast in the early 1800s. Anglo legislators declared all African Americans as "Negroes" and thus ineligible to carry weapons, while Creole police instructors distinguished between "Coloured" and "Black" and taught recruits that the former were exempt from anti-Black laws.]