A domestic altercation between a man and his wife who were both drunk resulted in a 911 call to the police by the wife. Deputies respond and entered the house with the consent of the wife. During the encounter, the husband tried to move to the kitchen and a deputy attempted to stop him, first by an arm bar, followed by three to five Taser zaps. The suspect (Lee) sued the deputies in a 1983 action to which the deputies sought Qualified Immunity. The District Court denied Qualified Immunity to the deputies and the Tenth Circuit affirmed, holding the under the facts as alleged by the plaintiff, the deputies violated the Fourth Amendment by repeatedly applying a Taser without a warning despite the fact the suspect was not resisting the officers and had not been advised that he was being detained.
This is a good case to review for the use of “intermediate force” against a person a who is not actively resisting.