United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 2016, Luis Rafael Rodriguez Ortiz
(“Rodriguez”) was allegedly assaulted by several
inmates and correctional officers at various points of his
detention in the Jefferson County Detention Center. In
September 2017, Rodriguez filed this civil-rights suit
against Jefferson County, Tennessee (“Jefferson
County”), 8 correctional officers (Eddie Mafnas, Karen
Clevenger, Jonathan Bright, Ryan Payne, Chris Ray, Barbara
Schuberg, Brian Shults, and Brandon White), and 5 fellow
detainees (Jesus Fuentes, Henry Guthrie, Matthew Keith,
Trustee John Doe No. 1, and Trustee John Doe No. 2).
Defendants Jonathan Bright, Karen Clevenger, Eddie Mafnas
(“Mafnas”), Ryan Payne (“Payne”),
Barbara Schuberg, Brian Schults (“Shults”),
Brandon White (“White”), and Jefferson County
filed a joint motion for summary judgment on March 29, 2019
[D. 72]. Rodriguez responded on April 19, 2019 [D. 77],
Defendants replied on April 26, 2019 [D. 79], and the motion
became ripe for adjudication. The Court held a
case-management conference with the parties on August 13,
2019 and several of the Defendants were dismissed, either
voluntarily by Rodriguez or by the Court. For the reasons
that follow, the joint motion for summary judgment will be
granted in part and denied in part.
afternoon of September 8, 2019, Rodriguez was walking in the
area of Chestnut Hill Road and Public Drive in Dandridge,
Tennessee, distraught over the discovery that his wife had
been unfaithful. Officer Robbie McMahan (“Officer
McMahan”) of the Dandridge Police Department responded
to a call about an individual walking in the area and
encountered Rodriguez on Public Road. Upon arrival, Officer
McMahan asked Rodriguez what he was doing and asked if he
needed help. Audio from the arrest reflects that, when asked
whether he was intent on harming himself, Rodriguez replied,
“I don't wanna hurt myself, whatever, but you know,
but I need help . . . ‘cause I don't wanna hurt
myself.” Later, Officer McMahan directly asked
Rodriguez, “Do you want to hurt yourself?”
Rodriguez exasperatedly chuckled and replied “I just
wanna die, but I don't know what to do.” After
receiving Rodriguez's license and checking for warrants,
Officer McMahan discovered an outstanding warrant for
Rodriguez's arrest in Sevier County for driving on a
suspended license. Officer McMahan informed Rodriguez that
Rodriguez would need to resolve the issue before a judge,
handcuffed Rodriguez, and transported him to the Jefferson
County Sheriff's Department around 4:40PM so that he
could be held until Sevier County officers could retrieve
was placed in Holding Cell 131 (“HC-131”) of the
Jefferson County Detention Center (“JCDC”).
HC-131 is an observation cell equipped with cameras often
used to observe suicidal detainees. Rodriguez was detained in
the cell with three other detainees, including another Latino
detainee, Jesus Fuentes.
change occurred shortly before 5:00PM. At some point, the
correctional officers in the new shift began to confuse
Rodriguez, who had not been formally booked into the JCDC,
with Jesus Fuentes. While in HC-131 after the shift change,
Rodriguez claims that a “big and fat”
correctional officer offered cigarettes to two inmate
trustees if they would “come into [Rodriguez's]
cell and beat [him] up.” When the lights were turned
off, Rodriguez claims that he placed his head inside the sink
to protect himself and pleaded with the other inmates not to
fight him. Rodriguez asserts that the unidentified inmates
then proceeded to sexually assault him by ejaculating and
urinating on his head and face while he called for help. A
correctional officer walked by and asked if someone was
calling for help, and White then entered HC-131 and brought
Rodriguez out of the cell and into the booking area.
booking area, which is also equipped with cameras, Rodriguez
proceeded to yell for the supervisor to inform him of the
assault, but the supervisor, Mafnas, told him that he was
busy. Rodriguez then pushed a computer monitor off of the
booking desk. What happened next is somewhat in dispute.
Rodriguez, at different times, states that he was told to
either put his hands up or get on the ground and that he
immediately complied. White then grabbed Rodriguez's neck
and either “threw, ” “slammed, ” or
“pushed” Rodriguez to the floor, face down,
according to Rodriguez's varying accounts. White,
Schults, Mafnas, and Correctional Officer Underwood
(“Underwood”) then restrained Rodriguez on the
floor face down until they could secure him with handcuffs.
Schults restrained Rodriguez's lower body, White and
Underwood restrained his left and right arms respectively,
and Mafnas restrained his head and upper-body area. During
this incident while the other three officers were working to
restrain Rodriguez, Mafnas struck Rodriguez in the ribs
several times with his fists. After Rodriguez was handcuffed,
he was lifted and placed into a restraint chair.
in the restraint chair, Rodriguez continued to yell for
Mafnas to come and speak with him. Rodriguez claims that
Mafnas came into the room, told Rodriguez to “shut up,
” and proceeded to choke him. The length of time that
Rodriguez remained in the chair is unclear. Rodriguez
estimated that he was in the restraint chair for “about
two hours.” Mafnas stated that they tried to bring
Rodriguez back into the cell, but he refused, so officers
“put him back in the chair until the next shift showed
up.” This would place Rodriguez in the restraint chair
for just under five hours, from 12:05AM until 4:45AM. JCDC
restraint chair logs indicate that “Jesus Fuentes,
” who was actually Rodriguez, was in the restraint
chair from 12:05AM until 3:06AM, which is three hours and one
minute. During this time in the restraint chair, Rodriguez
was not examined by medical personnel, permitted to change
clothes, or permitted to shower. Rodriguez claims that he was
not given water, but JCDC logs indicate that he requested
water around 12:17AM but refused water when it was given.
was released from the restraint chair and brought back to
HC-131 around 3:15AM on September 9, 2016. Due to
Rodriguez's threats of “still wanting to harm
himself, ” he was placed under watch in HC-131,
according to JCDC logs. At 3:40AM, JCDC logs indicate that
Mafnas contacted “Mobile Crisis Landon” and
placed Rodriguez, misidentified as Jesus Fuentes, on
fifteen-minute suicide watch.
thereafter, Rodriguez attempted to suffocate himself by tying
his shirt around his neck. Correctional officers quickly
intervened, placed Rodriguez in a green “turtle”
suit, and continued to observe him. Another shift change
occurred around 4:45AM.
the shift change, Correctional Officer Darby discovered that
Jesus Fuentes and Rodriguez had been mixed up. JCDC logs kept
by Correctional Officers Hall and Darby reflect that at
5:45AM and 6:38AM, Rodriguez was seated on a bench in HC-131,
rocking back and forth. At 7:42AM, Rodriguez refused his
breakfast, with the exception of milk. By 8:10AM, Rodriguez
had consumed his milk and at 9:15AM, Rodriguez was still
seated on the bench. At 10:27, the Sevier County
Sheriff's Office retrieved Rodriguez and was informed
that Rodriguez had been making suicidal threats. Rodriguez
stated that he “went back on suicide [watch]” at
Sevier County Jail and nurses evaluated him.
in the Sevier County Jail, Rodriguez reported that he was
assaulted in the JCDC by other inmates at the prompting of a
correctional officer and placed in a restraint chair after
the computer incident. Sevier County officers relayed
Rodriguez's report to Jefferson County officers. Sheriff
G.W. Bud McCoig (“Sheriff McCoig”) was notified
of the booking room incident when it happened and reviewed
the footage the next morning. Sometime thereafter, Sheriff
McCoig demoted Mafnas from the supervisory role “for
his handling of the incident” in booking. Sheriff
McCoig stated that he demoted Mafnas because he “was
not happy” with Defendant Mafnas striking Rodriguez
“in the side two or three times . . . before placing
him in the chair.” After the demotion, Mafnas resigned.
Perry A. Moyers (“Detective Moyers”) of the
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was tasked with
following up on Rodriguez's complaints in August 2017.
Detective Moyers interviewed Rodriguez in the Sevier County
Jail and collected a copy of the complaint Rodriguez made in
Sevier County. Detective Moyers reported that Rodriguez's
account during the interview conflicted with his complaint
made in the Sevier County Jail. During the interview,
Rodriguez indicated that a guard participated in the sexual
assault, which was not part of Rodriguez's complaint from
the Sevier County Jail, and that guards had “beaten and
bitten” him. Detective Moyers also collected the JCDC
incident report, statements from Officers Underwood, White,
and Darby, and JCDC logs.
point, Rodriguez requested a copy of the video from HC-131
and the booking area, but Sheriff McCoig reported that the
video footage had been lost. When a JCDC technician attempted
to retrieve the video, he informed Sheriff McCoig that the
hard drive “had been bad” because
“lightening[sic] had run in our system.”
September 7, 2017, Rodriguez filed this lawsuit against
several correctional officers, fellow detainees, and
Jefferson County, Tennessee. [D. 1]. Jefferson County
answered the complaint on October 9, 2017 [D. 7], which was
later amended to include Jonathan Bright, Karen Clevenger
(officially and individually), Eddie Mafnas (officially and
individually), Ryan Payne, Barbara Schuberg, Brian Shults,
and Brandon White on February 20, 2018 [D. 52].
March 29, 2019, Defendants Jonathan Bright, Karen Clevenger
(officially and individually), Eddie Mafnas (officially and
individually), Ryan Payne, Barbara Schuberg, Brian Shults,
Brandon White, and Jefferson County, Tennessee filed this
motion for summary judgment [D. 72] along with several
excerpts of deposition testimony from six correctional
officers, Detective Moyers, and Officer McMahan. On April 19,
2019, Rodriguez responded, including a “Declaration
Report of Jail Operations Expert Jeff Eiser”
(“Eiser Report”), several excerpts of deposition
testimony from Rodriguez, Sheriff McCoig, Detective Moyers,
Officer McMahan, Mafnas, White, and Shults, a collection of
JCDC's documented policies, video of Rodriguez's
arrest, a “Fact Sheet” of Detective Moyers'
investigation, and JCDC logs. On April 26, 2019, Defendants
August 13, 2019, the Court held a case management conference
with the parties. [D. 106]. Pursuant to that conference,
Rodriguez voluntarily dismissed Jesus Fuentes, Henry Guthrie,
Matthew Keith, John Doe No. 1, and John Doe No. 2 and the
Court dismissed Jonathan Bright, Karen Clevenger, Barbara
Schuberg, and Chris Ray. [D. 115]. Consequently, the
remaining Defendants are Eddie Mafnas (officially and
individually), Ryan Payne, Brian Shults, Brandon White, and
Jefferson County, Tennessee, all of whom are participants in
the motion before the Court.
Standard of Review
judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). The moving party bears the burden of establishing that
no genuine issues of material fact exist. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 n. 2 (1986); Moore v.
Philip Morris Co., Inc., 8 F.3d 335, 339 (6th Cir.
1993). All facts and inferences to be drawn therefrom must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Burchett v.
Kiefer, 310 F.3d 937, 942 (6th Cir. 2002).
the moving party presents evidence sufficient to support a
motion under Rule 56, the nonmoving party is not entitled to
a trial merely on the basis of allegations. Celotex,
477 U.S. at 317. To establish a genuine issue as to the
existence of a particular element, the nonmoving party must
point to evidence in the record upon which a reasonable
finder of fact could find in its favor. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The
genuine issue must also be material; that is, it must involve
facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law. Id.
Court's function at the point of summary judgment is
limited to determining whether sufficient evidence has been
presented to make the issue of fact a proper question for the
factfinder. Id. at 250. The Court does not weigh the
evidence or determine the truth of the matter. Id.
at 249. Nor does the Court search the record “to
establish that it is bereft of a genuine issue of
fact.” Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886
F.2d 1472, 1479 (6th Cir. 1989). Thus, “the inquiry
performed is the threshold inquiry of determining whether
there is a need for a trial- whether, in other words, there
are any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved
only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be
resolved in favor of either party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 250.
brings nine separate counts against Defendants based on
various federal and state law bases.
extent that Rodriguez maintains any of these claims against
Defendant Payne, he has presented no evidence to that end.
Instead, the record reflects that Payne was working in the
“Annex, ” a portion of the JCDC compound roughly
“a fourth of a mile away from the main jail.”
Consequently, none of Rodriguez's claims brought against
Defendant Payne are supported by evidence and Defendant Payne
will be dismissed from this case.
each count will be addressed in turn.
Count 1 - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Excessive Force, Cruel
& Unusual Punishment and bodily integrity deprivations in
violation of the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
1983 provides a federal cause of action against state
officials for the deprivation of constitutional rights under
color of state law. But only certain defendants can be held
liable for damages in a § 1983 suit. Under the doctrine
of qualified immunity, “government officials performing
discretionary functions generally are shielded from liability
for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate
clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of
which a reasonable person would have known.” Harlow
v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982); see
also Williams v. Godby, 732 Fed.Appx. 418, 420
(6th Cir. 2018). The plaintiff bears the ultimate burden of
proving that a defendant is not entitled to
immunity. Gardenhire v. Schubert, 205 F.3d 303, 311
(6th Cir. 2000).
determining whether a particular defendant is entitled to
qualified immunity, the Court must decide (1) whether the
defendant violated a constitutional right; and (2) whether
that constitutional right was clearly established at the time
of the defendant's alleged misconduct. Estate of
Carter v. City of Detroit, 408 F.3d 305, 310 (6th Cir.
2005) (citing Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201
(2001)). The Court may address these prongs in any order.
Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 236 (2009).
Proper Constitutional Basis
determining whether a constitutional right was violated, the
Court “must first ascertain the source of that
right.” Phelps v. Coy, 286 F.3d 295, 299 (6th
Cir. 2002). Rodriguez has alleged violations under the
Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, but “[w]hich
amendment applies depends on the status of the plaintiff at
the time of the incident, whether free citizen, convicted
prisoner, or something in between.” Id.
(citing Gravely, 142 F.3d at 348-49). If the alleged
violation occurs during an arrest or other seizure of an
otherwise free person, the claim arises under the Fourth
Amendment, which requires an objectively reasonable use of
force. Id. (citing Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 395 (1989)). If the alleged violation occurs when
the person is a convicted prisoner, the Eighth Amendment sets
the standard, which is violated if the force was applied
maliciously and sadistically rather than to maintain or
restore order in good faith. Id. (citing Whitley
v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 319 (1986)). If the person is
somewhere between the two, the standard is set by the more
generally applicable Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. Id.; see also Richmond v. Huq,
885 F.3d 928, 938 n. 3 (6th Cir. 2018).
Rodriguez was arrested by an officer of the Dandridge Police
Department when the officer discovered an outstanding Sevier
County warrant for Rodriguez's arrest. Rodriguez was
brought to the Jefferson County Detention Center and remained
there until he was collected by Sevier County officers. It
was during this time at the Jefferson County Detention Center
that Rodriguez's complaints of excessive force arise,
bringing the claims under the purview of the Fourteenth
“excessive force claim brought under the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause is subject to the same
objective standard as an excessive force claim brought under
the Fourth Amendment.” Clay v. Emmi, 797 F.3d
364, 369 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Kingsley v.
Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2472-73 (2015)); see
also Richmond, 885 F.3d at 938 n. 3. Though the parties
may be unclear where Rodriguez's Fourth Amendment rights
ebb and Fourteenth Amendment rights flow, the standard for
excessive force is the same regardless. Clay, 797
F.3d at 369.
Eighth Amendment rights are generally co-extensive with the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Richmond, 885 F.3d at 938 n. 3 (recognizing that
Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. 2466 (2015), abrogated the
subjective intent requirement for Fourteenth Amendment
excessive-force claims, but declining to apply the
Kingsley standard to a pretrial detainee claim of
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need).
Accordingly, Eighth Amendment prisoner claims and Fourteenth
Amendment pretrial detainee claims are analyzed “under
the same rubric.” Id. (quoting Villegas v.
Metro Gov't of Nashville, 709 F.3d 563, 568 (6th
as Rodriguez was a pretrial detainee at the time that the
claims arose, his claims arise under the Fourteenth
Amendment, so all excessive force claims will be analyzed
under the coextensive Fourth Amendment framework and all of
his other claims will be analyzed under the coextensive
Eighth Amendment framework.
shield of qualified immunity has been raised, the Court must
address whether a constitutional violation has occurred, and
if so, whether that violation was an affront to clearly
examining whether a use of force was in violation of the
Fourth Amendment, a Court must determine whether the use of
force was objectively unreasonable. Hanson v. Madison
Cty. Det. Ctr., 736 Fed.Appx. 521, 528 (6th Cir. 2018)
(citing Aldini v. Johnson, 609 F.3d 858, 865 (6th
Cir. 2010)). The Supreme Court has detailed non-exclusive
“[c]onsiderations” that “may bear on the
reasonableness or unreasonableness of the force used”
in the pre-trial context: (1) “the relationship between
the need for the use of force and the amount of force
used”; (2) “the extent of the plaintiff's
injury”; (3) “any effort made by the officer to
temper or to limit the amount of force”; (4) “the
severity of the security problem at issue”; (5)
“the threat reasonably perceived by the officer”;
and (6) “whether the plaintiff was actively
resisting.” Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473
(citing Graham, 490 U.S. at 396). However,
“[n]ot every push or shove, even if it may later seem
unnecessary in the peace of a judge's chambers, violates
the Fourth Amendment.” Hanson, 736 Fed.Appx.
at 530 (quoting Graham, 490 U.S. at 396 (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted)). Because
“‘officers are often forced to make split-second
judgments-in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and
rapidly evolving-about the amount of force that is necessary
in a particular situation,' the reasonableness of an
officer's use of force ‘must be judged from the
perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than
with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.'” Laury v.
Rodriguez, 659 Fed.Appx. 837, 843 (6th Cir. 2016)
(quoting Graham, 490 U.S. at 396-97).
examining whether a use of force offends clearly established
law under the Fourth Amendment, the Court should not define
the law “at a high level of generality.”
White v. Pauly, 137 S.Ct. 548, 552 (2017) (quoting
Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 742 (2011)).
Instead, it must be “particularized” to the facts
of the case; unless the violation was obvious, a court needs
to identify another case where an officer acting under
similar circumstances was held to have violated the Fourth
Amendment. Id. (quoting Anderson v.
Creighton, 483 U.S. 635, 640 (1987)). This specificity
is especially important in the Fourth Amendment context,
where “it is sometimes difficult for an officer to
determine how the relevant legal doctrine . . . will apply to
the factual situation the officer confronts.”
Mullenix v. Luna, 136 S.Ct. 305, 308 (2015) (quoting
Saucier, 533 U.S. at 205). It not contested that a
detainee's right to be free from the use of excessive
force at the hands of a corrections officer is a clearly
established right under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
See Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473; Hanson,
736 Fed.Appx. at 528. However, each alleged use of excessive
force must be examined in its particularized context.
Rodriguez has alleged that the use of force against him was
excessive in three instances: (1) the takedown after pushing
the computer monitor, (2) the force used on the floor after
the takedown, and (3) the force used during Rodriguez's
time in a restraint chair. The Court will examine each use of
force by each defendant to determine whether the use of force
violated the Constitution and, if so, whether the use of
force violated clearly established law.
Takedown after pushing the computer monitor
Rodriguez has alleged that, during booking, he repeatedly
yelled for then-supervisor Mafnas to inform him of a prior
attack by other inmates. After Mafnas rebuffed
Rodriguez's shouts, Rodriguez reached across the booking
desk and shoved the computer monitor off of the desk. At this
point, White “put his hand on [Rodriguez's]
neck” and either “threw, ” or “pushed
[him] on the ground, ” according to Rodriguez's
varying accounts. White was then joined by Mafnas, Shults,
and Underwood in restraining and handcuffing Rodriguez.
Rodriguez alleges that the takedown or ensuing struggle on
the ground “busted his nose.”
the facts show that White did not act excessively or was
objectively unreasonable when he brought Rodriguez to the
floor in the process of restraining him. Though the Court
views the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
the plaintiff's account of the takedown is varied.
Rodriguez states by affidavit that, after shoving the
computer monitor off of the desk, he was told to “put
my ‘hands up and stay still, '” and that he
“immediately obeyed.” However, eight months prior
during deposition testimony,  Rodriguez stated that
“[t]hey told me to get on the ground, get on the
ground, but I was like this.” Rodriguez also states by
affidavit that Defendant White “grabbed [him] around
his neck and body slammed [him] to the concrete floor.”
However, eight months prior, Rodriguez stated that “the
officer put his hand on my neck and pushed me on the
ground.” Elsewhere in the prior deposition, Rodriguez
stated “I kept screaming louder. And then I pushed the
monitor down . . . And then he said, put your hands up in the
air . . . And I put my hands up in the air. And he grabbed me
by the head and threw me on the ground.” Regardless of
which Rodriguez account of the takedown the Court adopts, it
is clear that Rodriguez escalated his resistance to the
booking process and continued to “scream” for
Mafnas, despite admonitions to stop. After Rodriguez pushed
the monitor in the general direction of correctional
officers, White executed the takedown. Active resistance that
justifies additional force “can take the form of
‘verbal hostility' or ‘a deliberate act of
defiance.'” Hanson, 736 Fed.Appx. at 531
(quoting Goodwin v. City of Painesville, 781 F.3d
314, 323 (6th Cir. 2015)). Consequently, when judged from the
perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, White's
split-second decision to take down Rodriguez after his
escalating defiance became physical was not objectively
even if the takedown was excessive, it did not violate
“clearly established law.” Undoubtedly, when an
officer gratuitously “slams, ” “bangs,
” or performs a “takedown” on a suspect who
is handcuffed and not a threat to the officer's safety,
the officer has acted in an objectively unreasonable manner.
See Adams as Next Friend of K. E. v. Blount Cty.,
Tenn., No. 3:17-CV-313, 2019 WL 1233750, at *21 (E.D.
Tenn. Mar. 15, 2019) (citing Phelps, 286 F.3d at
297); Burgess v. Fischer, 735 F.3d 462, 474 (6th
Cir. 2013); Evans v. Plummer, 687 Fed.Appx. 434, 442
(6th Cir. 2017) (after Burgess, “it is beyond
debate that performing a takedown on a detainee who is
physically compliant, not a threat, and not attempting to
flee violates the Fourth Amendment”) (quotation marks
omitted); Darnell v. Carver, 156 F.3d 1229 (Table)
(6th Cir. 1998) (upheld denial of qualified immunity where
jury could conclude officer intentionally threw plaintiff to
ground and “either pushed [plaintiff's] head into
the pavement or lifted it and let it drop”)). However,
unlike in Adams, Burgess, Evans,
and Phelps, White's takedown of Rodriguez
occurred before he was handcuffed or incapacitated and while
he was still a threat to the officers' safety. Further,
White used tempered force, not deadly force, which, at most,
resulted in a bloodied, but not broken, nose. Likewise, as a
further distinction, the use of force was predicated on the
physical act of defiance.
White is entitled to qualified immunity for the takedown. In
the peacefulness of a judge's chambers and with the
benefit of hindsight, such a takedown may not have been
necessary. But qualified immunity operates “to protect
officers from the sometimes ‘hazy border between
excessive and acceptable force.'” Solomon v.
Auburn Hills Police Dep't, 389 F.3d 167, 174-75 (6th
Cir. 2004) (quoting Saucier, 533 U.S. at 206). An
officer is entitled to qualified immunity if he made an
objectively reasonable mistake ...