Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Louisville Metro Police Allegedly Steal $5000 From A Man’s Safe

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Case: GORDON v. LOUISVILLE/JEFFERSON COUNTY METRO GOVERNMENT, 11-5427 (6th Cir. 6-28-2012) (unpublished)


Gordon argues that the safe contained $11,000, and that the police stole $5,000 from the safe. Smith also claimed that the safe contained several pictures of her, partially nude. She alleged that the pictures were missing after the search and that the police stole them. As well as the thefts, Gordon also claimed in his deposition that the police drove his Corvette, ripped the door off of a Coke machine on the back patio, urinated in his toilet and did not flush it, and smoked in the house. Smith claimed that the officers tore apart Christmas presents, opened her daughter’s collectible dolls, and left the house in disarray. Smith and Gordon offered a video of what they alleged to be the damage done by the search. They alleged that the damage done by the officers exceeded the scope of the warrant and unreasonably seized their property.
. . .
On appeal, Gordon argues that the district court erred in holding that Gordon’s claim failed as a matter of law because he was unable to prove who allegedly stole the money or the pictures. However, the rule that a plaintiff bears the burden of establishing individual officer liability in § 1983 claims is well established in our Circuit. . . . Gordon has not pointed to evidence indicating that any particular officer was responsible for unreasonable seizure of his property during the search. We therefore affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the officers in their individual capacities.

Comment: This seems like an unfair result. Perhaps a state law claim for conversion would not require proof of which individual police officer stole the money and nudie pix.

Written by Burgers Allday

July 3, 2012 at 4:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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