The year 2015 will be remembered for the many protests and incidences of
violence that have erupted in conjunction and response to police violence.
Whether justified or not, video of police violence against citizens has
led to a social phenomenon where people take to the streets and protest
what they view as overreach and violations of rights.
In addition to protests, some victims of police violence have taken their
cases to the courts for recovery. These types of cases are notoriously
difficult to win because of the immunity that police officers enjoy in
doing their work. But sometimes a case will appear for which the courts
will deny immunity protection and allow a personal injury claim against
a police officer to proceed. This is what recently happened in a11th Circuit Court of Appeals case.
Facts of the Case
A claim was brought by a man who was arrested by the police in Florida in 2009.As reported by the court’s opinion, the police responded to help local authorities capture several pit bulls
that were loose in a neighborhood. When the police arrived at the scene,
they observed the dog owners arguing with a neighbor about how the dogs
During the course of the argument, one of the police officers drew his
taser and shot the man who eventually brought a claim. Then, as the case
reports, when the man recovered from that taser shot the police officer
shot him again. The man was was charged with several charges, but they
were all dropped after being investigated by the prosecutor.
After the charges were dropped, the man who was shot by a taser sued the
police officer based on the personal injuries that he suffered as a result.
The man argued that the police officer was not justified in using excessive
force when he was compliant with what the police told him to do. In response,
the police officer argued that he was protected by Florida law under the
immunity provisions of underFlorida Statute § 768.28(9)(a).
Court Allows Suit
The court did not agree with the police officer, however. Official immunity
only protects police officers when they are acting in the scope of their
work. But when a police officer crosses the line of official duty and
acts in a way that violates clearly established statutory or constitutional
right, they are subject to a lawsuit. The court in this case decided that
there was enough evidence to allow a jury to decide whether the police
officer should be held liable for the injuries caused on that night
When it comes to the rights of victims of personal injury,The Pittman Firm is ready and able to defend those rights. Our practice is dedicated to
acting on behalf of victims to ensure that they recover for their injuries,
pain, and suffering. Whether you have been injured in a car accident,
through medical malpractice at the hands of a doctor, or by a defective
product, we want to be your partner.Contact us so we can go over your case with you and provide you with the legal counsel
your case deserves.
See related blog posts:In an Accident With a Drunk Driver: Now What?;Can You Handle Your Own Personal Injury Case?;Comparative Negligence.