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Rodriguez Ortiz v. Jefferson County

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville Division

November 12, 2019

LUIS RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ ORTIZ, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE; SGT. EDDIE MAFNAS, individually and officially; C.O. RYAN PAYNE, individually; C.O. BRIAN SHULTS, individually; and C.O. BRANDON WHITE, individually, Defendants.

          POPLIN JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          REEVES CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In 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.

         I. Background

         A. Facts

         On the 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 him.

         Rodriguez 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.

         A shift 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.

         In the 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.

         While 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.

         Rodriguez 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.

         Sometime 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.

         After 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.

         While 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.

         Detective 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.

         At some 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.”

         B. Procedural History

         On 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].

         On 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 responded.

         On 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.

         II. Standard of Review

         Summary 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).

         Once 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.

         The 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.

         III. Analysis

         Rodriguez brings nine separate counts against Defendants based on various federal and state law bases.

         To the 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.

         Otherwise, each count will be addressed in turn.

         A. Count 1 - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Excessive Force, Cruel & Unusual Punishment and bodily integrity deprivations in violation of the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments

         Section 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).

         When 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).

         1. Proper Constitutional Basis

         When 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).

         Here, 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 Amendment.

         An “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.

         Further, 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 Cir. 2013)).

         Here, 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.

         2. Excessive Force

         As the 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 established law.

         When 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).

         When 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.

         Here, 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.

         a. 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.”

         Here, 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, [1] 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 unreasonable.

         Further, 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.

         Consequently, 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 ...


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