Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to allow jury to decide
whether or not officer's shooting of her husband was unreasonable,
despite lack of testimony describing the moment of the shooting;
officer admitted that husband did not have a weapon and had not hit
him. Gardner v. Buerger, 82 F.3d 248 (8th Cir. 1996).
appeals court reinstates jury's $259,358.19 against officer for
shooting and killing driver of car making escape from alleged purse
snatching; jury necessarily found that officer could not have
reasonably believed himself in danger from slow moving vehicle, and
accordingly officer was not entitled to qualified immunity. Acosta
v. City and County of San Francisco, 83 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 1996).
Complaint which alleged that officer shot man carrying a machete on
the street without further warning after telling him to "freeze"
adequately stated claim against District of Columbia for
inadequately training and supervising of officers on the use of
deadly force; federal appeals court rules that even a single
incident of such use of force was adequate to support a complaint of
inadequate training and supervision. Atchinson v. D.C., 73 F.3d 418
was not liable for alleged inadequate training and supervision on
use of deadly force; while there had been prior lawsuits alleging
excessive use of force or wrongful use of deadly force by sheriff's
personnel, there had been no single case in which courts ruled that
department personnel had violated a clearly established right in
this area, so sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity. Singleton
v. McDougall, 932 F. Supp. 1386 (M.D. Fla. 1996).
were entitled to qualified immunity for shooting man in his home
after he had fired pistol in the air outside the house, fired more
shots inside the house, and then fired shots into the ceiling in
bedroom where his girlfriend and two small children were present;
officers reasonably believed their actions were needed to prevent
the imminent loss of life. Isquierdo v. Frederick, 922 F. Supp. 1072
could reasonably conclude that his decision to fire at vehicle of
fleeing suspect was reasonable when a fellow officer had been
dragged 25- 30 feet with his hand stuck inside the vehicle's
driver's side window and had just been thrown free. Pittman v. Nelms,
87 F.3d 116 (4th Cir. 1996).
agent who was present at the scene of a shooting by another federal
agent could not be held vicariously liable for other agent's action.
Pellegrino v. United States, 73 F.3d 934 (9th Cir. 1996).
awards $12.66 million to man shot by officer and rendered paraplegic
after he had used handgun to try to fend off mugger; officers who
arrived on scene only knew that there was a man with a gun and did
not realize that he was a crime victim; mugger flagged down one
police vehicle after he was shot at. Veriguete v. City of New York,
Sup. Ct., Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 19, reported in The National Law
Journal p. A9, December 9, 1996.
returns $100,000 award in lawsuit over shooting death in which U.S.
Supreme Court adopted therapist-patient privilege; jury finds that
force used was not reasonable, but rejects state law wrongful death
claim. Jaffee v. Redmond, U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill., reported in
Chicago Tribune, p. 6 (Dec. 7, 1996).
of man shot by officers entering trailer without announcing
themselves during execution of search warrant receives $950,000
settlement in suit that claimed that county failed to properly train
officers in the use of their weapons. Bryant v. County of Dodge,
U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Wis., No. 95-C-0526, Apr. 25, 1996, reported in
39 ATLA L. Rptr. No. 7, p. 273 (Sept. 1996).
action of indemnifying police officers against punitive damages
award in lawsuit brought over shooting death of fast-food restaurant
robber did not constitute a policy of "encouraging and ratifying"
the excessive use of force; individual city council members who
voted for payment of punitive damages award were also entitled to
qualified immunity for their action. Trevino v. Gates, 99 F.3d 911
(9th Cir. 1996).
who held birthday party in vacant house receives $150,000 settlement
from city on lawsuit arising from officer shooting him in the house
after neighbor reported intruders in the building. Crenshaw v. City
of Oakland, U.S.Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., No. C95 1207 WHO, May 29,
1996, reported in 39 ATLA L. Rep. No. 9, p. 353 (Nov. 1996).
acted reasonably in shooting and killing handcuffed arrestee sitting
in front seat of police vehicle when he pointed a gun at them;
federal appeals court overturns trial court's denial of qualified
immunity to officers. Elliott v. Leavitt, 99 F.3d 640 (4th Cir.
court rules that mother of man shot and killed by officers could
assert federal civil rights claim for loss of companionship of adult
child she was not dependent on, and that proper legal standard for
liability is "deliberate indifference or reckless disregard." Smoot
v. City of Placentia, 950 F. Supp. 282 (C.D. Cal. 1997).
acted reasonably in shooting at hunters who fired first at them;
hunters' claim that they were firing at doves rather than officers
was not relevant; officers entitled to qualified immunity since they
reasonably could conclude that hunters posed a serious threat to
them. Wicker v. City of Galveston, 944 F. Supp. 553 (S.D. Tex.
liable for $1.4 million to family of suicidal individual shot and
killed by officer responding to his suicide threat, based on city's
failure to have a training policy on suicide threat intervention;
officer also liable for alleged excessive use of force when decedent
stepped from his apartment holding a shotgun but may not have posed
an immediate threat to officer. Wallace v. Estate of Davies, 676
N.E.2d 422 (Ind. App. 1997).
to school van passenger resulting from officers shooting into it
during gun battle with suspect who "commandeered" van did not
violate passenger's Fourth Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment due
process rights; passenger was not intentionally "seized" by officers
for Fourth Amendment purposes and officers were entitled to
qualified immunity on due process claim. Medeiros v. O'Connell, 955
F. Supp. 21 (D. Conn. 1997).
was entitled to qualified immunity for shooting at man found inside
residence entered pursuant to search warrant who pointed weapon at
him. Robinett v. Carlisle, 928 S.W.2d 623 (Tex. App. 1996).
acted reasonably in shooting and killing suspect armed with a knife
who was on the ground, once suspect started to swing hand holding
knife up towards officer. Reynolds v. County of San Diego, 84 F.3d
1162 (9th Cir. 1996). 299:169 Sheriff's deputies acted reasonably in
shooting and killing man intoxicated on PCP and armed with a knife
who slowly advanced towards them and announced his intention of
killing them if they did not shoot him. Martinez v. County of Los
Angeles, 47 Cal. App. 4th 334, 54 Cal. Rptr. 2d 772 (1996).
Plaintiff arrestee shot by officer was entitled to jury trial on
claim that police caused a confrontation by failure to identify
themselves as they entered residence. Sledd v. Lindsay, 107 F.3d 282
(7th Cir. 1996).
witness testimony on "hedonic damages" (the enjoyment value of human
life) barred by trial court in lawsuit over police shooting of
individual. Ayers v. Robinson, 887 F. Supp. 1049 (N.D. Ill. 1995).
was entitled to qualified immunity for shooting armed suspect who
held out a hand containing a gun in response to officer's demand
that he show his hand; officer reasonably feared for his life,
regardless of exactly what direction displayed weapon was pointed;
officers had no clearly established duty to provide medical aid to
shot suspect prior to arrival of EMTs. Wilson v. Meeks, 52 F.3d 1547
(10th Cir. 1995).
clothes officers were entitled to qualified immunity because there
was no "clearly established" requirement that they announce their
identity and purpose while executing search warrant on business
premises; officer reasonably believed that suspect was reaching for
a weapon when he shot and paralyzed him; municipalities could not be
held liable in the absence of evidence of a municipal policy,
custom, or usage. St. Hilaire v. City of Laconia, 71 F.3d 20 (1st
was entitled to qualified immunity for use of deadly force; court
rules that: 1. Officers are not compelled to adopt alternative
approaches to avoid creating a situation where deadly force must be
used; 2. Officers do not have to first attempt to use nondeadly
alternatives when the use of deadly force has become necessary; 3.
Police departments and other law enforcement agencies are not
required to provide officers with equipment which might be a
substitute for the use of deadly force, such as dogs, tasers,
capture nets, CS gas, rubber bullets, sticky foam, or beanbag
projectiles; 4. Officers have no obligation to simply "walk away"
from a situation where the use of deadly force is justified; and 5.
Officers have no obligation to keep themselves a particular distance
or to maintain a barrier between the suspect and themselves. Plakas
v. Drinski, 19 F.3d 1143 (7th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 115 S. Ct.
81 (1994). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified Immunity].
Supreme Court to determine whether federal courts should recognize a
therapist-patient privilege barring evidence of confidential
communications during therapy; issue arises in case where jury
awarded $545,000 in police shooting case where jury was told it
could presume withheld therapy records would be unfavorable to
officer. Jaffee v. Redmond, 51 F.3d 1346 (7th Cir. 1995), cert.
granted, 116 S. Ct. 334 (1995).
rights case over police shooting, trial judge's statement to jurors
that "the races have a tendency to stick together" implied that
black plaintiff and his witnesses told a consistent version of the
incident out of "racial solidarity" rather than based on their
promise to tell the truth; federal appeals court orders new trial.
Rush v. Smith, 56 F.3d 918 (8th Cir. 1995).
reaches $3.1 million settlement with white separatist's family over
shooting deaths of 14-year-old son and wife during "Ruby Ridge"
siege of mountain cabin. Weaver v. U.S., U.S. Dist. Ct. Idaho,
reported in The New York Times National Edition, p. 1 (Aug. 16,
Officer's act of drawing and pointing a gun at an unarmed felony
suspect, without any indication that he intended or attempted to
fire, did not violate suspect's rights. Edwards v. Giles, 51 F.3d
155 (8th Cir. 1995). [Cross-references: Assault and Battery:
Physical; Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
man's status as "emotionally disturbed" person was relevant to issue
of whether officers acted objectively reasonably in shooting him
without warning after he displayed a knife and ran away from them.
Ludwig v. Anderson, 54 F.3d 465 (8th Cir. 1995). [Cross- reference:
Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith) Immunity].
shooting and killing of intoxicated motorist who advanced on him
with knife in attack position was a reasonable use of force, federal
appeals court rules. Romero v. Board of County Commissioners, 60
F.3d 702 (10th Cir. 1995).
million settlement in case where police officer allegedly shot man
helping store clerk who had been shot during a robbery. McLeod v.
City of Philadelphia, U.S. Dist. Ct., No. 94-7495, Oct. 6, 1995, 39
ATLA L. Rptr. p. 56 (March 1996).
awards $4,911,668 to man shot and rendered paraplegic by officer
pursuing him as he fled from stopped vehicle because of outstanding
warrants and illegal possession of firearm; plaintiff claimed he had
abandoned weapon before officer shot him; $3.5 million settlement
agreement reached. Watson v. City of Los Angeles, No. BC085132, L.A.
Superior Central Ct., California, Dec. 29, 1995, L.A. Daily Journal
Verdicts & Settlements, Vol. 109, No. 77, p. 5 (April 19, 1996).
Supreme Court adopts therapist-patient privilege protecting
disclosures during therapy sessions from compelled disclosure in
court; affirms ordering of new trial in which jury awarded $545,000
in police shooting case where jury was told it could presume
withheld therapy records would be unfavorable to officer. Jaffee v.
Allen, 116 S. Ct. 1923 (1996).
mental health agency was not liable for officer's shooting of
paranoid schizophrenic as he exited his bedroom, allegedly advancing
on officer with hatchet raised; defendants adequately explained
reasons for striking two black jurors, and trial judge correctly
excluded evidence which was not relevant to the case at hand. McKeel
v. City of Pine Bluff, 73 F.3d 207 (8th Cir,. 1996).
[Cross-references: Procedural: Evidence; Procedural: Jury
liable for $10.2 million to restaurant patron shot in the back by
off-duty police officer acting as security for canceled Halloween
party scheduled there. Melendez v. City of Los Angeles, No.
BC038583, L.A. Superior Central Ct., March 20, 1996, reported in
L.A. Daily Journal Verdicts & Settlements, Vol. 109, #82, p. 2,
April 26, 1996. [Cross-reference: Off-Duty/Color of Law].
liable for $29.26 million for officer's shooting of man he
mistakenly believed to be "with" two armed robbers escaping from
successful bank robbery. Summerville v. City of New York, No.
39604/91 (Sup. Ct. Kings Co., N.Y.), May 13, 1996, reported in The
National Law Journal, p. A17 (June 17, 1996).
officer did not act unreasonably in shooting an unarmed handcuffed
arrestee running towards him to flee from another arrestee who had
obtained a weapon; officer could have reasonably believed that the
person running towards him was the arrestee who a deputy sheriff's
yell warned him had obtained a weapon. McLenagan v. Karnes, 27 F.3d
1002 (4th Cir. 1994).
who entered restaurant and shot armed man holding waitresses hostage
when he pointed unloaded rifle at them were entitled to qualified
immunity; they did not know weapon was not loaded and no reasonable
officer would think that their actions violated civil rights of
hostage-taker. Malignaggi v. County of Gloucester, 855 F. Supp. 74 (D.N.J.
was not entitled to qualified immunity in woman's federal civil
rights lawsuit alleging that he wrongfully entered her house and
shot her in the leg while she slept in her bed. Defrancis v. Bush,
859 F. Supp. 1022 (E.D. Tex. 1994).
was justified in using deadly force against man who advanced on him
waving bat and threatening to kill the officer when officer
attempted to serve arrest warrant on him; officers had probable
cause to obtain arrest warrant for man based on wife's statements
that he hit her. James v. City of Chester, 852 F. Supp. 1288 (D.S.C.
shots at fleeing helicopter in which escaped inmate held helicopter
owner hostage did not constitute a "seizure" despite fact that one
shot hit helicopter, when it did not result in helicopter stopping
or landing; helicopter owner had no claim for Fourth Amendment
violation. Bella v. Chamberlain, 24 F.3d 1251 (10th Cir. 1994).
force may be used when necessary to prevent escape of pre-trial
detainee, even when he is unarmed and is not thought to be dangerous
to an officer or other person; Federal appeals court rejects
argument that Tennessee v. Garner rule applies to escaping
prisoners; U.S. Supreme Court declines review of case. Brothers v.
Klevenhagen, 28 F.3d 452 (5th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, No. 94-795,
115 S. Ct. 639 (1994).
court overturns $600,000 award to carjacking hostage wounded by
officer when he shot at one of her captors who was pointing a gun at
the officer; officer's use of deadly force under these circumstances
was reasonable. Stroik v. Ponseti, 35 F.3d 155 (5th Cir. 1994).
did not "seize" man for purposes of Fourth Amendment when he merely
pointed a gun at him; allegation that pet dog was shot and killed
without justification, however, did state a Fourth Amendment claim
for unreasonable seizure of property. Fuller v. Vines, 36 F.3d 65
(9th Cir. 1994).
Officers' use of deadly force was not unreasonable when suspect they
shot and killed shot at them first. Menuel v. City of Atlanta, 25
F.3d 990 (11th Cir. 1994).
police chief were not liable for off-duty officer's using a machine
gun to shoot and kill resident of home which he entered after his
friend expressed suspicion that residence was a "drug house"; no
evidence showed that any inadequate training or supervision caused
the shooting. Searcy v. City of Dayton, 38 F.3d 282 (6th Cir. 1994).
acted objectively reasonably in shooting intoxicated man who moved
towards officers with a steak knife in each hand. Roy v. Inhabitants
of City of Lewiston, 42 F.3d 691 (1st Cir. 1994).
Officers, faced with a report of a man inside a building who had
fired shots, did not need to select the "least intrusive
alternative" in responding; no liability for shooting death of
suspect who stood in doorway of residence and pointed gun at
officers after they knocked on door. Scott v. Henrich, 39 F.3d 912
(9th Cir. 1994).
did not violate man's civil rights by shooting him in the back of
the head when he ignored her command to stop; deputy reasonably
believed that man was armed and was fleeing from the scene of a
robbery where he beat a store employee, and the fact that he was
actually not armed and had not robbed the store did not alter the
result. Moreno v. County of Ventura, 36 Cal. Rptr. 2d 750 (Cal. App.
who hogtied three residents of home and shot one of them in the head
is awarded $4 in compensatory and $104,732 in punitive damages in
federal civil rights suit over officers' shooting him in the back as
he fled. Forrett v. Richardson, 91-6822ABC(SHX) (April 6, 1995,
U.S.Dist. Ct. C.D. Cal.), reported in The National Law Journal, p.
A11 (May 1, 1995).
million settlement in case where officer shot and killed armed
business owner, thinking he was a burglar; business owners had
previously requested police to put premises under special scrutiny
following burglary, but had also informed department that owners had
handgun permits and often slept there. Barroso v. City of Coral
Gables, No. 94-0457 CIV-UNGARO, U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Fla., Nov. 14,
1994, reported in 38 ATLA Law Rptr. No. 6, p. 224 (August 1995).
Louisiana Supreme Court overturns $4 million jury award against city
for officers' shooting of mentally disabled man holding a realistic
looking toy gun. Mathieu v. Imperial Toy Corp., 646 So. 2d 318 (La.
department liable for $594,480 to surviving family of man shot and
killed by off-duty officer angry that he was having an affair with
officer's wife; suit claimed that department knew that officer had
previously, while off-duty, beaten his own wife, but failed to take
preventative measures to stem officer's "violent propensities."
Thomas v. Los Angeles Police Department, No. BC086856, L.A. Superior
Court Glendale, May 18, 1995, reported in Los Angeles Daily Journal
Verdicts & Settlements, page 4, June 16, 1995.
liable for $1.625 million to Cuban immigrant injured in gun battle
with plainclothes officers who surrounded his home; plaintiff
believed man he saw pointing a rifle at his home was "pro-Castro"
person carrying out prior communicated threats. Vasquez v.
Metropolitan Dade Co. U.S. Dist. Ct. S.D. Fla., 84-2865-Civ, July 7,
1994, reported in the National Law Journal p. A15 (Aug. 1, 1994).
awards $3,645,000 in damages to family of motorist shot and killed
by officer who stopped him for a traffic offense; plaintiffs argued
that motorist's hands were in plain view, while officer argued that
motorist had been reaching under his seat and that he feared
motorist was reaching for a weapon. Bodan v. DeMartino, No.
BC025408, L.A. Superior Central Court, L.A. Calif., May 23, 1994,
reported in Los Angeles Daily Journal Verdicts & Settlements, p. 6,
June 10, 1994.
did not violate the Fourth Amendment in using deadly force against
homeowner who turned toward him while holding a gun in his hand;
deputy could reasonably believe that his life was in danger and did
not know that homeowner was not the prowler that he had been
summoned to apprehend. Linder v. Richmond County, Ga., 844 F. Supp.
764 (S.D. Ga. 1994).
cab driver who had driven robbers from a robbery receives $1.5
million settlement from city in suit over officer's shooting of him
as he came out of his vehicle with his hands up. Camille v. City of
New York, 92-4947, Fed. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y. June 1, 1994, reported
in The National Law Journal, p. A13 (July 11, 1994).
appeals court rules that city of Memphis is liable for officer's
shooting of fleeing felony suspect in Tennessee v. Garner case.
Garner v. Memphis Police Dept., 8 F. 3d 358 (6th Cir. 1993).
court upholds $4.06 million award against city for officers'
shooting of mentally disabled man holding a realistic looking toy
gun. Mathieu v. Imperial Toy Corp., 632 So. 2d 375 (La. App. 1994).
liable for $4,370,000 to surviving family of man shot and killed by
officer responding to domestic disturbance call who thought a stick
in man's hand as he came out of an apartment was a rifle. Camacho v.
City of Cudahy, VC009187, La. Superior Court, March 31, 1994,
reported in Los Angeles Daily Journal p. 5 (April 8, 1994).
who shot disturbed youth who allegedly had put down knife and was
not then threatening anyone was entitled to qualified immunity from
liability. McKinney v. DeKalb County, Ga., 997 F. 2d 1440 (11th Cir.
of man shot and killed while running toward officer carrying large
board awarded $3.33 million in damages against city. Perez v.
Harrison, 92-103-LH/DJFm /Fed. Dist. Ct., N.M., Dec. 17, 1993,
reported in The National Law Journal, p. 9 (Jan. 10, 1994).
was not liable for shooting and killing mentally disturbed
individual who chased him around parking lot threatening to kill
him; while suspect was actually unarmed, officer could have
reasonably believed he was reaching for a weapon when he reached in
back of him, in light of blood he observed on suspect's arms and
other circumstances. Wyche v. City of Franklinton, 837 F. Supp. 137
liable for $4.08 million to mentally disabled man who suffered
paraplegia after being shot by police officers who thought the toy
gun he was holding was a real weapon; award under appeal. Mathieu v.
City of New Orleans, La., Orleans Parish Civ. Dist. Ct., No.
88-10254, Division H, Dec. 17, 1992, reported in 36 ATLA L. Rep. 374
awards $545,000 to surviving family of man shot and killed by police
officer; officer asserted decedent was about to stab a man with a
knife, while decedent's four siblings testified that he did not have
a knife, but that officers placed one near his body after his death.
Allen v. Redmond, U.S. Dist. Ct. N.D. Ill., reported in Chicago
Tribune, p. 1 (Dec. 23, 1993).
officer did not use excessive force in shooting at windshield of
vehicle which had hit him; officer reasonably believed the driver
posed a serious threat of death or serious bodily harm to him.
Drewitt v. Pratt, 999 F. 2d 774 (4th Cir. 1993).
and estate of youth shot and killed by officers seeking to stop him
from driving away in car suspected to be stolen awarded $2 million
in damages, including $1 million in punitive damages. Carmona-Rosado
v. Municipality of Catano, U.S. Dist. Ct., D.P.R., No. 89-1531, Jan.
30, 1992, 35 ATLA L. Rep. 376 (Dec. 1992). N.Y.'s highest court
upholds $4.3 million award to convicted robber, who attacked elderly
man in subway, for paralysis resulting from shooting by transit
police officer. McCummings v. N.Y.C. Trans. Auth., 81 N.Y. 2d 923,
613 N.E. 2d 559, 597 N.Y.S. 2d 653 (1993).
appeals court holds that officer's shooting of fleeing suspect in
the back was "objectively reasonable" when he had reason to believe
him to have committed a violent crime, to be armed with a knife
which he appeared to be pulling, and to be inebriated; issue of
whether suspect was actually unarmed at the time of the shooting was
not relevant to officer's entitlement to qualified immunity. Krueger
v. Fuhr, 991 F. 2d 435 (8th Cir. 1993).
admission of officer's statement that he had not previously shot
anyone in 16 years on the force did not require new trial in case
where jury held for defendant officer in shooting death of suspect
who pulled cigarette lighter from pocket and threw it at officer;
officer believed suspect might be pulling out a gun. Gates v.
Rivera, 993 F. 2d 697 (9th Cir. 1993).
was entitled to qualified immunity for shooting and killing a
domestic violence suspect armed with a screwdriver; officer
reasonably believed that metal object in suspect's hand was a gun
which he was raising against the officer. Vasquez v. Hernandez, 844
S.W. 2d 802 (Tex. App. 1992).
not liable for shooting and killing vehicle driver during traffic
stop when he thought car passenger was attempting to shoot at him;
trial court's instructions to jury were wrong, but not "plain
error," and did not require reversal of jury verdict for defendant
officer. Turner v. White, 980 F. 2d 1180 (8th Cir. 1992).
shot by Alaska state troopers could not sue for injuries under state
law because of statute barring felons from recovering damages
occurring as a result of the felony. Sun v. State, 830 P. 2d 772
officers who shot and killed fleeing driver of car involved in armed
robbery were not entitled to qualified immunity when a genuine issue
of fact existed as to whether they should have realized that he was
not armed and whether they had probable cause to believe that he
posed a threat of serious bodily harm to themselves or others.
Washington v. Newsom, 977 F. 2d 991 (6th Cir. 1992).
acted in reasonable self-defense in firing a shot at truck which
appeared likely to run him down; neither officer or city was liable
for death of truck's driver. Fraire v. City of Arlington, 957 F. 2d
1268 (5th Cir. 1992).
were entitled to qualified immunity for shooting and killing armed
man who they were told had previously fired shots and was pointing a
gun at them; fact that gun was unloaded did not alter result, since
officers had no way of knowing that. Scott v. Henrich, 978 F. 2d 481
(9th Cir. 1992).
Deployment of SWAT team and shooting of mentally ill woman to get
her to submit to involuntary treatment was not an "unreasonable
seizure" in light of the fact that she had threatened to shoot
officers and swung a butcher knife at one officer. Williams v.
Richmond County, Ga., 804 F. Supp. 1561 (S.D. Ga. 1992).
and county were not liable for shooting unarmed 15 year-old black
male in the back as he fled from them after dropping sawed-off
shotgun; youth made a movement towards his waistband and deputies
reasonably, if mistakenly, believed he had a second gun. Sims v.
County of Los Angeles, No. BC 015-704, L.A. County Superior Court,
Los Angeles, Calif. (June 4, 1992).
Plaintiff who was convicted of criminal culpable negligence in
firing the first shots at undercover officers outside a house
through a closed door was not barred, by his conviction, from suing
officers and county for alleged use of excessive force in returning
fire in the ensuing shootout. Vasquez v. Metropolitan Dade County,
968 F. 2d 1101 (11th Cir. 1992).
homeowner shot by officer in unmarked vehicle awarded $500,000 for
use of excessive force; homeowner fired birdshot into air, believing
officer to be a trespasser, but was unarmed when officer shot and
hit him; county to pay award against officer. Sammons v. McDonald,
U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Ga., No. CV189-199, Mar. 6, 1992, reported in
35 ATLA L. Rep. 289 (Oct. 1992).
was not entitled to dismissal of excessive force claim before trial
on qualified immunity grounds when nine-year-old boy, who was not a
suspect, claimed that officer put a gun to his head and threatened
to pull the trigger without any justifying reason during a search of
the boy's residence. McDonald v. Haskins, 966 F. 2d 292 (7th Cir.
Officer's use of deadly force against a motorist who had previously
shot at him was reasonable; although motorist did not then have his
weapon in his hand, officer did not know that and reasonably still
believed himself to be in danger. Daniels v. Terrell, 783 F. Supp.
1211 (E.D. Mo. 1992).
officers' shooting of paranoid schizophrenic man twenty-two times
presented a jury question on excessive use of force; while decedent
was armed with knives, he may not have posed a serious threat of
harm following a first or second round of shots; plaintiffs also
stated a claim against city for inadequate training on use of force
on disturbed persons. Russo v. City of Cincinnati, 953 F. 2d 1036
(6th Cir. 1992).
Erroneous submission of both Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth
Amendment constitutional claims to jury required new trial on civil
rights claim arising out of police shooting; Fourth Amendment
"reasonableness" standard was the only permissible claim. Ward v.
city of San Jose, 948 F. 2d 1097 (9th Cir. 1991).
Convicted robber who attacked elderly man in subway awarded $4.3
million for paralysis resulting from shooting by transit police
judgment was improperly granted to officer sued for shooting and
killing suspect who attacked him with his own club; whether
officer's actions in firing four more shots after shooting suspect
six times were reasonable was a jury question. Hopkins v. Andaya,
958 F. 2d 881 (9th Cir. 1992).
awards $44,000 to relatives of three robbers shot and killed by
officers as they exited restaurant they had robbed. Arango v. Gates,
U.S. Dist. Ct., reported in The New York Times, national Edition p.
A11 (April 1, 1992).
$1 million to compensate mother for loss of her mentally ill son
from police shooting was not supported by evidence; mental anguish
of mother was the only damage shown and mother had previously been
the object of son's violent behavior. Fields v. Dailey, 68 Ohio App.
3d 33, 587 N.E. 2d 400 (1990), reported 1992.
judgment was improper in alleged burglar's lawsuit against off-duty
officer who shot him as he crouched by officer's house armed only
with a screwdriver. Alexander v. Riccinto, 481 N.W. 2d 6 (Mich. App.
deadly force to stop motorist fleeing at speeds over 90 miles per
hour was reasonable. Smith v. Freland, 954 F. 2d 343 (6th Cir.
were not entitled to qualified immunity for shooting a man when
there was conflicting evidence as to whether he pointed a weapon at
them; parents and children of deceased man could base their claims
against officers on due process clause rather than Fourth Amendment.
Curnow v. Ridgecrest Police, 952 F. 2d 321 (9th Cir. 1991).
Fourth Amendment gives a bystander no constitutional protection
against unintentional shooting by police officers pursuing a fleeing
suspect. Rucker v. Harford County, Md., 946 F. 2d 278 (4th Cir.
who was a fetus at the time officers shot and killed his father,
could bring a civil rights suit over his father's death. Crumpton v.
Gates, 947 F. 2d 1418 (9th Cir. 1991).
overturns $1.24 million award against deputy in shooting death of
suicidal woman; trial court failed to assess possible objective
reasonableness of deputy's action in firing when he believed that
woman may have been pointing her weapon at him; county's liability
under state law for negligent failure to train or supervise deputies
on how to deal with potential suicides upheld, however. Quezada v.
County of Bernalillo, 944 F. 2d 710 (10th Cir. 1991).
sheriff's shooting and killing of suspect was justified when he
advanced on the deputy with a machete upraised and ignored orders to
drop the weapon. Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F. 2d 117 (6th Cir. 1991).
trooper who was justified in firing at mentally impaired man was not
liable for negligence of other officers involved in incident based
on theory of "acting in concert"; $2.24 million judgment against
trooper and state reversed. State v. Will, 807 P. 2d 467 (Alaska,
and niece of man shot and killed by officers could not bring civil
rights suit to recover damages for the "traumatizing effects" of
witnessing his death. Borrero-Rentero v.Rivera, 761 F. Supp. 5 (D.
Puerto Rico 1991).
of Indian Affairs (BIA) officer properly shot intoxicated man
running at officers with rifle pointed at them; fact that rifle was
later found to be unloaded was irrelevant to officer's decision to
use deadly force at the time. Waybenais v. U.S., 769 F. Supp. 306
(D. Minn. 1991).
Officer's actions in entering a dark hallway in a residence at night
without identifying himself as an officer, shining a flashlight, or
wearing his police cap, were not objectively reasonable; officer was
not entitled to qualified immunity for use of deadly force in
response to occupants' reaction. Yates v. City of Cleveland, 941 F.
2d 444 (6th Cir. 1991).
Narcotics officer participating in sting operation was entitled to
qualified immunity for shooting arrestee; past incidents involving
violence had taken place at location of the arrest and the arrestee
ignored the officer's order to raise his hands, turning towards
officer with an object in his hands. Slattery v. Rizzo, 939 F. 2d
213 (4th Cir. 1991).
security guard shot by homicide detectives staking out convenience
store was properly awarded$50,000 in negligence claim against
detectives and sheriff even though jury found security guard 50% at
fault in the incident. Ansley v. Heinrich, 925 F. 2d 1339 (11th Cir.
reasonably shot and killed unarmed robbery suspect in stopped
vehicle who repeatedly reached down below officer's sight line in
defiance of orders to raise his hands. Reese v. Anderson, 926 F. 2d
494 (5th Cir. 1991).
Officer's shooting of suspect in the jaw was objectively reasonable
despite her alleged failure to follow standard police procedures for
making a night time prostitution arrest; reasonableness is measured
by what the officer knew immediately prior to and at the moment she
fired the shot. Greenidge v. Ruffin, 927 F. 2d 789 (4th Cir. 1991).
were justified in firing at armed jail escapee who took police
officer hostage and fired a shot as hostage tried to escape.
Fitzgerald v. Patrick, 921 F. 2d 758 (8th Cir. 1990).
Amendment's reasonableness standard, rather than Eighth Amendment's
"cruel and unusual punishment" standard applied to shooting of
escaping pretrial detainee by police officer. Wright v. Whiddon, 747
F. Supp. 694 (M.D. Ga. 1990).
was entitled to official immunity for injuries to suspect resulting
from shot fired at guard dog attacking officer during raid on
alleged drug house. Murray v. Leyshock, 915 F. 2d 1196 (8th Cir.
of arrestee handcuffed and shot in the head by paranoic
schizophrenic police officer awarded $980,200 in damages and
$132,228.50 in attorneys' fees against officer; municipality ordered
to indemnify officer, now deceased. Graham v. Sauk Prairie Police
Com'n 915 F. 2d 1085 (7th Cir. 1990).
robber who brandished shotgun at officer awarded $60,000 in damages
against two officers who fired eight shots at him. Soba v. McGoey,
748 F. Supp. 227 (S.D.N.Y. 1990).
agent who shot and killed self-identified drug dealer who knocked
him to the ground and chased him acted in self-defense and was not
liable for violation of dealer's civil rights. Smith v. Hill, 741 F.
Supp. 647 (E.D. Mich. 1990).
Federal Court holds that Tennessee v. Garner does not apply
retroactively; officer entitled to qualified immunity for shooting
of fleeing felon. Rodriguez v. City of Passaic, 730 F. Supp.. 1314 (D.N.J.
court upholds jury's verdict in favor of officers in suit over
shooting at suspect; whether bullet in arrestee's hand came from
officer's gun was irrelevant. Scott v. James, 902 F. 2d 672 (8th
could not recover for fright and "bad dreams" resulting from deputy
placing revolver in his mouth and threatening to blow his head off.
Wisniewski v. Kennard, 901 F. 2d 1276 (5th Cir. 1990).
driver's truck tires and pointing gun at driver's head did not
constitute unconstitutional use of deadly force. Johnson v. Morris,
453 N.W. 2d 31 (Minn., 1990).
owner mistakenly shot by officer investigating burglary report had
no claim against officer's partner, who used no force at all. Spera
v. Lee, 728 F. Supp. 366 (E.D. Pa. 1990).
of offenses of sex crimes arrestee shot during unsuccessful escape
attempt could be admitted in his lawsuit against officers; it was
relevant to the reasonableness of their actions. Geitz v. lindsey,
893 F. 2d 148 (7th Cir. 1990).
Circuit Court of Appeals holds that Graham v. Connor standard for
excessive force claims applies retroactively; orders new trial on
officer's shooting of man while responding to domestic disturbance
call. Reed v. Hoy, 891 F. 2d 1421 (9th Cir. 1989).
entitled to qualified immunity for shooting robbery suspect in the
head; suspect had knife in his pocket and presented risk to store
clerk he had previously held at knife-point. Newcomb v. City of
Troy, 719 F. Supp. 1408 (E.D. Mich. 1989).
officer was reasonable in using deadly force against person creating
a disturbance was a question of fact in light of conflicting
evidence. Zuchel v. Spinharney, 890 F. 2d 273 (10th Cir. 1989).
appeals court upholds $5.1 million award for shooting by officers
that rendered plaintiff paraplegic. Gutierrez-Rodriguez v. Cartagena,
882 F. 2d 553 (1st Cir. 1989).
officer was immune from suit if he acted in good faith in shooting
fleeing unarmed burglar, but Michigan's fleeing felon statute held
retroactively unconstitutional. Washington v. Starke, 433 N.W. 2d
834 (Mich. App. 1988).
rights plaintiff had burden of overcoming officer's argument that he
fired in self-defense. Miller v. Taylor, 877 F. 2d 469 (6th Cir.
officer entitled to summary judgment on excessive force complaint
when plaintiff did not submit any evidence. Hinojosa v. City of
Terrell, 864 F. 2d 401 (5th Cir. 1989).
was justified in shooting drunken man who took his night stick and
was advancing on him with night stick upraised. Estate of Belew by
Belew v. Ruppert, 694 F. Supp. 1214 (D. Md. 1988).
of arrestee allegedly shot in head could recover for loss of son's
companionship in federal suit even if state did not allow such
recovery. Hutson v. Bell, 702 F. Supp. 212 (N.D. Ill. 1988).
on medical roll was not acting under color of law when he shot and
killed individual, despite failure of city to confiscate weapon or
ammunition. Gibson v. City of Chicago, 701 F. Supp. (N.D. Ill.
Officer's shooting of man who threatened him with knife was
objectively reasonable; city's failure to reprimand or discipline
officer did not demonstrate unconstitutional policy. Estate of
Jackson v. City of Rochester, 705 F. Supp. 779 (W.D.N.Y. 1989).
could bring civil rights suit for loss of relationship with adult
son allegedly killed by police. Agresta v. Sambor, 687 F. Supp. 162
(E.D. Pa. 1988).
awarded $400,000 for alleged negligent shooting; exclusion of
evidence of arrestee's prior felony conviction for assault against
officer was "harmless error". Clark v. Buhring, 761 P. 2d 266 (Colo.
who killed decedent during a shoot-out started by the decedent are
entitled to qualified immunity. Standridge v. City of Seaside, 545
F. Supp. 1195 (N.D. Cal. 1982).
Plaintiff sues federal officials for shooting him during drug
arrest. Tefft v. Seward, 689 F. 2d 637 (6th Cir. 1982).
ordered to pay $140,223.70 to armed man he chased into motel room
and shot. Smith v. Heath, 691 F. 2d 220 (6th Cir. 1982).
liable for killing unarmed suspect and then planting "throw down"
gun on him. Webster v. City of Houston, 689 F. 2d 1220 (5th Cir.
negligent for gunshot injuries to plaintiff who was attempting to
rob a bank. Amato v. United States, 549 F. Supp. 863 (D.N.J. 1982).
Plaintiff in process of "hijacking" school bus suffered no
constitutional rights violations when shot by officer. Todd v. White
Lake Twp., 554 F. Supp. 272 (E.D. Mich. 1983).
shot and killed unwilling evictee in self-defense. Parrott v.
Wilson, 707 F. 2d 1262 (11th Cir. 1983).
liability for shooting of 16-year-old fleeing robbery suspect.
Simmons v. City of Chicago, 455 N.W. 2d 232 (Ill. App. 1983).
could be liable for shooting and killing plaintiff's son; no
liability to police chief or city absent negligent training or
policy allegation. White v. Talboys, 573 F. Supp. 49 (D. Colo.
liability for shooting fleeing misdemeanant. Cross v. City of Gary,
456 N.E. 2d 614 (Fla. App. 1983).
reversed and city not liable for officer's shooting and killing his
relatives with service revolver, Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468
A. 2d 1306 (D.C. App. 1983).
police chief could be liable for negligent training and supervision
of officer who shot man leaving scene of traffic stop; plaintiff's
erratic driving serves as probable cause to take blood and urine
sample. Hopper v. Payes, 573 F. Supp. 1368 (D. Idaho 1983).
liable for police permitting officer's shooting unarmed 15-year-old.
Taylor v. Collins, 574 F. Supp. 1554 (E.D. Mich. 1983).
continue for determination of whether officer's shooting of rape
suspect in van was reasonable. Taylor v. Mayone, 574 F. Supp. 609 (S.D.N.Y.
not responsible for correctional guard's off-duty incidents to
prevent crime. Frazier By Western v. State, 474 N.Y.S. 2d 7 (App.
officer shot three times by man in rage over not having use of his
telephone. Ball v. State of Ga., 733 F. 2d 1557 (11th Cir. 1984).
liability since decedent drew pistol during arrest attempt. Singer
v. Wadman, 745 F. 2d 606 (10th Cir. 1984).
shooting death to proceed in federal court; plaintiff not forced to
state jurisdiction under Parratt. Bullard v. Valentine, 592 F. Supp.
774 (E.D. Tenn. 1984).
shoot at rape suspect fleeing past roadblock. Taylor v. Mayone, 599,
F. Supp. 148 (S.D. N.Y. 1984).
gun to approach motorist during "spot check" not grounds to recover
for outrage; court recently ruled matching description on warrant
not grounds to arrest. Guffey v. State, 690 P. 2d 1163 (Wash. 1984).
Bystander partially at fault when shot by police during arrest
attempt. City of San Antonio v. Higle, 685 S.W. 2d 682 (Tex. App.
Plaintiff given opportunity to prove supervisor's failure to inform
officers on deadly force regulations grounds for liability for
shooting fleeing felon. Moore v. City of Columbia, 326 S.E. 2d 157
(S.C. App. 1985).
fleeing teenagers as they fled from robbery scene not grounds for
liability. Crawford v. Edmonson, 764 F. 2d 479 (7th Cir. 1985).
judgment in state court because of immunity does not preclude
federal action. Ligas v. Allen, 765 F. 2d 53 (3rd Cir. 1985).
chief's failure to make changes, reprimand or fire officers
sufficient to infer policy for section 1983 municipal liability;
dissenting judge says liability should not be based on a "lack of
remorse" after an incident. Grandstaff v. City of Borger, 767 F. 2d
161 (5th Cir. 1985).
wins countersuit after widow sued for wrongful death. Baltezore v.
Concordia Parish Sheriff's Dept., 767 F. 2d 202 (5th Cir. 1985).
court verdict, unlike summary judgment, bars federal action. Devan
v. City of Des Moines, Iowa, 767 F. 2d 423 (8th Cir. 1985).
liability for shooting that occurred after officer found couple
having intercourse in park. Rhiner v. City of Clive, 373 N.W. 2d 466
force policy in Alabama results in $100,000 liability for officer's
shooting. Pruit v. City of Montgomery, Ala., 771 F. 2d 1475 (11th
Circuit finds Section 1983 liability for intentional shooting.
Gilmere v. City of Atlanta, Ga., 774 F. 2d 1495 (11th Cir. 1985).
reverses $250,000 judgment by finding shooting was reasonable;
parents have no constitutional right to sue. Ealey v. City of
Detroit, 375 N.W. 2d 435 (Mich. App. 1985).
finds no wrongdoing in shooting fleeing felon already placed under
custody. Garcia v. Wyckoff, 615 F. Supp. 217 (D.C. Colo. 1985).
finds no conspiracy in shooting of decedent, who allegedly would not
sell drugs for deputies; no liability for deputies' shooting
decedent's dogs. Pfeil v. Rogers, 757 F. 2d 850 (7th Cir. 1985).
liable for shooting after improperly handling arrest. Young v. City
of Killeen, Tex., 775 F. 2d 1349 (5th Cir. 1985).
shot resident in mistaken belief he was a burglar; prejudgment
interest awarded. Aubin v. Fudala, 782 F.2d 280 (1st Cir. 1983).
Aubin v. Fudala, 782 F. 2d 287 (1st Cir. 1986).
necessary to join arresting officers in suit against municipality.
Ellison v. Town of Brookside, 481 So. 2d 89O (Ala. 1985).
liable for officer's being shot by fellow officer. McKenna v. City
of Memphis, 785 F. 2d 560 (6th Cir. 1986).
officer riding with son alerted to robbery in which he used
firearms. Hill v. Jenkins, 620 F. Supp. 272 (N.D. Ill. 1985).
counsel's statement that police would have to personally pay
judgment admissible; shooting review board report also admissible.
Perrin v. Anderson, 784 F. 2d 1040 (10th Cir. 1986).
million awarded for police officer on routine patrol negligently
shooting drug agents. Mazzilli v. Doud, 485 So. 2d 477 (Fla. App.
to shoot was ministerial, not discretionary; no immunity. Watson v.
Quarles, 381 N.W. 2d 811 (Mich. App. 1985).
proves training policy adequate to avoid liability; suit to continue
against police, even though decedent was armed when they fired their
weapons. York v. City of San Pablo, 626 F. Supp. 34 (N.D. Cal.
Recommendations of officer's dismissal inadmissible. Hargress v.
City of Montgomery, 479 So. 2d 1137 (Ala. 1985).
Plaintiff's closing argument that government will pay damages in a
Section 1983 action prejudicial to police; new trial ordered.
Griffin v. Hilke, 804 F. 2d 1052 (8th Cir. 1986).
given retroactive application by the sixth circuit. Carter v. City
of Chattanooga, Tenn., 803 F. 2d 217 (6th Cir. 1986).
have no fourth amendment claim in father's shooting; estate does.
Smith v. City of Fontana, 807 F. 2d 796 (9th Cir. 1987).
rules officer need not see a gun before shooting fleeing bank
robber; observing employees with hands held over their heads
supports shooting under Garner rules. Ford v. Childers, 650 F. Supp.
110 (C.D. Ill. 1986).
officer's intentional tort is within the scope of employment if it
was foreseeable; city could be liable for negligent retention of
officer with violent tendencies. Hill By Hill v. Mitchell, 653 F.
Supp. 1194 (E.D. Mich. 1986).
firing their weapons at gunman without identifying themselves was
justified. Trejo v. Wattles, 654 F. Supp. 1143 (D. Colo. 1987).
$200,000 awarded for deputies' shooting and killing store owner,
mistaking him for burglar. Lundgren v. McDaniel, 804 F. 2d 600 (11th
deadly force against non dangerous fleeing felon results in $472,000
judgment. Guider v. Smith, 403 N.W. 2d 505 (Mich. App. 1987).
circuit U.S. Court of Appeals finds officer acted reasonably in
shooting female juvenile who appeared to be armed while fleeing from
robbery of Pizza Hut. Ryder v. City of Topeka, 814 F. 2d 1412 (10th
rights suit ordered to continue against police over shooting; city
dismissed from suit after police lieutenant testified that training
was adequate. Anderson v. City of Pocatello, 731 P. 2d 171 (Idaho
Undercover police officer accused of firing his weapon without
justification during drug transaction. Fundiller v. City of Cooper
City, 777 F. 2d 1436 (11th Cir. 1985).
Depression over police incident states claim for suicide. Parker v.
Superior Court, 223 Cal. Rptr. 292 (App. 1985).
liability for suicide of arrestee two years after being shot and
paralyzed by officer. District of Columbia v. Peters, 527 A. 2d,
1269 (D.C. App. 1987).
of man shot by police can bring civil rights lawsuit for loss of
companionship, children's action can raise fourth amendment, but not
first or eighth amendment claims. Smith v. City of Fontana, 818 F.
2d 1411 (9th Cir. 1987).
Court of Appeals for 7th Circuit upholds $1.6 million civil rights
verdict for fatal shooting of unarmed teenager; allows damages for
the "hedonic" value of life and loss of parental association.
Sherrod, v. Berry, 827 F. 2d 195
who shot youth in head liable for $150,000; youth's mother and
siblings could not bring suit on their own behalf, however. Guzman
Rosa v. de Alba, 671 F. Supp. 882 (D. Puerto Rico, 1987).
loaded pistol at arrestee was not constitutionally excessive force.
Hinojosa v. City of Terrell, Tex., 834 F. 2d 1223 (5th Cir. 1988).
owner shot by state trooper under misconception that hostage
situation was taking place within store; allowed to proceed with
suit against trooper. Thompson v. Spikes, 663 F. Supp. 627 (S.D. Ga.
liable for officer's shooting of arrestee while executing warrant
for failure to pay traffic fine. Stokes v. Bullins, 844 F. 2d 269
(5th Cir. 1988).
circuit court of appeals holds that supreme court decision on deadly
force applies retroactively; reasonable use of deadly force measured
by individual officer's knowledge. Davis v. Little, 851 F. 2d 605
(2nd Cir. 1988).
circuit holds that supreme court decision on deadly force should not
be applied retroactively to Tennessee fleeing felon statute. Carter
v. City of Chattanooga, Tenn., 850 F. 2d 1119 (6th Cir. 1988).
deadly force against hospital patient brandishing knife did not
violate fourth amendment. O'Neal v. DeKalb County, Ga., 85O F. 2d
653 (11th Cir. 1988).