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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Estate of Escobedo v. Officer Martin (ND Ind., Springmann), a 45-page opinion, Circuit Judge Manion writes:

In the early morning hours of July 19, 2005, Rudy Escobedo became suicidal and ingested cocaine. He dialed 911 and told the operator he had taken cocaine, had a gun to his head, and wanted to kill himself. An emergency response team was dispatched to negotiate with Escobedo and to try to get him to put down his weapon and leave his apartment volunopted to deploy a tactical response to remove Escobedo from his apartment, as they thought he presented a danger to the community around him. After deploying two volleys of tear gas into Escobedo’s seventh-floor apartment, a team of six officers wearing gas masks and other protective equipment broke into the apartment. The officers found him holed up in his closet with a gun to his head. The officers ordered him to put down the weapon, but Escobedo did not comply and was shot by two of the police officers. Escobedo’s Estate brought a § 1983 excessive force claim against the police and the City of Fort Wayne. After a variety of motions were filed and a partial summary judgment was granted and appealed, the case went to trial and the jury found in favor of the defendants. The district court also granted judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants after the jury entered its verdict. The Estate now appeals, and we affirm. * * *

For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the jury verdict in favor the defendants, we AFFIRM both the district court’s grant of judgment as a matter of law on qualified immunity grounds to Officers Straub, Martin, and Brown, as well as the post-verdict grant to Deputy Chief Bender, Deputy Chief Lucker, Sgt. Hunter, and Lt. Zelt, and we AFFIRM the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Officers Martin and Brown on the Estate’s excessive force claim.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 13, 2012 12:41 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions