Anita Arrington-Bey, Administratrix of the Estate of Omar K. Arrington-Bey, Plaintiff-Appellee,
City of Bedford Heights, Ohio; Tim Honsaker; Maurice Ellis; Phillip Chow; David Leonardi; Jeffrey Mudra; Cheryl Sindone; Cynthia Lee; Carolyn Hill, Defendants-Appellants.
Argued: February 1, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio at Cleveland. No. 1:14-cv-02514-Patricia A.
Gaughan, District Judge.
A. Climer, MAZANEC, RASKIN & RYDER, CO., L.P.A.,
Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellants.
H. Gilbert, FRIEDMAN & GILBERT, Cleveland, Ohio, for
A. Climer, Frank H. Scialdone, John D. Pinzone, MAZANEC,
RASKIN & RYDER, CO., L.P.A., Cleveland, Ohio, for
H. Gilbert, Jacqueline C. Greene, FRIEDMAN & GILBERT,
Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee. Ashlie Case Sletvold, THE
CHANDRA LAW FIRM LLC, Cleveland, Ohio, for Amici Curiae.
Before: BATCHELDER, SUTTON, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, Circuit Judge.
Omar Arrington-Bey died in a Bedford Heights jail cell, that
was not an obvious consequence of his arrest for disturbing
the peace at a Lowe's store. The question is whether bad
luck, negligence by the relevant local law enforcement
officials, or deliberate indifference by them caused his
death. In suing the officers involved in his arrest and
detention and the City, Omar's mother, Anita
Arrington-Bey, took the position that the officers'
deliberate indifference and lack of adequate training caused
her son's death, making them liable under the Fourteenth
Amendment and Ohio law. The district court largely agreed. It
denied federal and state immunity to all but one defendant,
dismissed the state law and punitive damages claims against
the City, and denied summary judgment to the City on the
federal constitutional claim. We must reverse, however,
because there was no violation of a clearly established
constitutional right, and the officers did not act with the
recklessness that would permit them to be liable under Ohio
what happened. On June 21, 2013, Anita drove Omar to the
Lowe's in Bedford Heights, where he'd recently been
fired after failing to show up to work for over a week, to
pick up his last paycheck. When the assistant manager,
Russell Nelson, came over to see him, Omar "started
talking a lot of gibberish, " including about selling
$5, 000 gloves to Lowe's or Kohl's. R. 39-7 at 5.
Nelson knew that "something was a little off" and
started guiding Omar out of the store. Id.. Omar
went back inside, demanded his paycheck, and began kicking
and throwing paint cans. In response to a 911 call from the
store, Bedford Heights dispatched police officers Tim
Honsaker and Maurice Ellis.
officers spotted Omar's car pulling out of the Lowe's
parking lot and stopped it nearby. Omar was in the passenger
seat, had changed his shirt, and was evasive when they asked
him whether he was the one causing trouble at Lowe's. But
he was compliant and calm when they asked him to step out of
the car. During the pat-down, the officers discovered pills
in a container, which they placed back in Omar's pocket
after handcuffing and detaining him. Honsaker recalled Omar
saying that the pills were for a psychiatric condition and
that he had not taken his medication for days or
weeks. Anita told Ellis that Omar was bipolar, that
the pills were Seroquel, and that he had not taken his
medication for some time.
returned to the Lowe's parking lot while the police
continued their investigation. According to Honsaker, Omar
"was rambling and ranting and raving about every
possible topic he could think of" and became angry if
Honsaker interjected. R. 41-4 at 43. Omar claimed, among
other things, that he made lots of money through internet
businesses, that he had a million-dollar cell phone, and that
his father was the son of Satan. That behavior led Honsaker
to ask Anita if Omar was on any psychiatric medication, and
she told him just what she'd told Ellis: that Omar was
bipolar and hadn't been taking his medicine. Phillip
Chow, the supervising ...