Sixth Circuit affirms denial of summary disposition in excessive force section 1983 claim
In Foster v. Patrick, the appellate court dealt with yet another police shooting of a fleeing, unarmed suspect. The officer who fired 13 or 14 rounds at the plaintiff, striking her 8 times, appealed the trial judge's refusal to grant him summary disposition based on qualified immunity. The higher court emphasized that in evaluating summary disposition, it must interpret the facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. With that perspective, a jury could reasonably conclude that neither the officer nor any other person was endangered by the Plaintiff's attempt to drive away in the officer's police vehicle after committing an alleged assault upon the officer. If no was immediately endangered by the Plaintiff's effort to drive away, the use of deadly force was clearly unjustified under existing law and the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity.