This is another 42 USC 1983 case for Fourth Amendment violations including False Arrest and Excessive Use of Force. Responding to a call that two teenagers were unlawfully in a neighbor’s house, the police responded to the home of one of the offending teenagers at 2:00 AM. The officers demanded to the teen’s mother (the plaintiff in this civil suit) that the teen come out of the house. One thing led to another and the end result was the plaintiff being body-slammed on the floor and arrested. She alleges significant back injuries as a result. The District Court granted Qualified Immunity at the Summary Judgment stage, but the Fifth Circuit reversed holding that when taking the facts in the light most favorable to Westfall—that she was attempting to enter her house but not actively resisting the officers—a jury could reasonably find that the degree of force Luna used—slamming Westfall onto her brick porch—did not match the need.
- Post published:May 8, 2019