Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Deputy Working as Mall Cop Denied Qualified Immunity for Forcible Takedown of Teen

Cook v. Peters, 2015 WL 1089267 (3/13/15) (Okl.) (unpub'd) - The 10th affirms a denial of summary judgment in an excessive-force, ยง 1983 suit. As he left a shopping mall, Mr Cook, a slight teenage boy, cursed at a deputy sheriff working as a security guard. The officer, who was 11 inches taller and 200 pounds heavier than Mr. Cook, arrested Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook tried to pull away, The officer took him down to the ground. Given the difference in sizes, the minimal threat the teenager posed to anyone and the minor nature of the teenager's crime (breach of the peace through the use of profane language), the law was clearly established that the forceful takedown would be excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment . No qualified immunity in that circumstance.