Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit overturns dismissal of excessive force lawsuit
Jerry Coble was arrested for drunken driving. Today, he'd probably be the first to tell you that he didn't handle it well: he drove on home with a siren and flasher escort and then told the arresting officer to leave his driveway. Ultimately, he ended up on the ground, shackled, with some injuries including a severely fractured ankle. When he sued for excessive force, however, the trial judge dismissed his case because the judge concluded his account of the excessive force was inconsistent with the incomplete audio tape of the incident preserved by police. After listening to the tape, the Court of Appeals judges concluded that reasonable minds could hear the tape and still believe Coble's account of excessive force: on that basis, summary disposition was inappropriate because there was a "genuine issue of fact for the jury to decide."