Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

TRUJILLO v. CAMPBELL (D.Colo. 8-22-2012)

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Based on these facts, the Court finds that all three of the Graham factors weigh heavily in Plaintiff’s favor. Under the first factor, the Court considers the severity of the crime at issue. Here, there was no crime at issue. Officer Campbell attests only that he was “suspicious that [Mr. Gomez] was involved in criminal activity.” . . . It appears undisputed that [Denver police officer Timothy Campbell] did not have reason to suspect Mr. Gomez of committing any specific crime. The second factor – whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others – also weighs strongly in Plaintiff’s favor. No reasonable officer would have reason to believe that a fleeing person not suspected of any specific crime and who had not made any threatening gestures posed any danger. At first blush, the third factor – whether Mr. Gomez was actively resisting arrest or attempting to flee – appears to tilt in Defendants’ favor as Mr. Gomez was attempting to flee when he was shot. However, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, Mr. Gomez’s attempt to flee was the result of Officer Campbell’s own deliberate or reckless conduct when he threatened to kill Mr. Gomez. Thus, Plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to raise triable issues that Officer Campbell violated Mr. Gomez’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Written by Burgers Allday

August 25, 2012 at 8:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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