Law enforcement officers stopped a person believing him to be a person who had an active warrant. As it turns out, it is the wrong person. The encounter results in a physical altercation resulting in the suspect being taken to the emergency room. The person sued the officers for three Fourth Amendment violations: the investigative stop, the protective search and excessive force when he attempted to flee.
The court held that the officers did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the plaintiff because of the lack of identifying information left them with no “particularized and objective basis” to believe the plaintiff was the person named on the warrant. The court further held that removing the wallet from the plaintiffs’ pants was beyond the scope of a Terry Frisk. The court then held that the use of a choke hold (which the court said was deadly force) on the plaintiff was excessive. Qualified immunity was denied to both defendants.
This is an instructional case to read for use of force guidance.
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