Edwards v. Shanley, et al., No. 11-11512 (11th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff brought this action against two officers seeking damages under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Plaintiff alleged that one officer's use of a police dog constituted excessive force and that the other officer failed to intervene and stop the dog attack, both in violation of the Fourth Amendment. At issue was whether clearly established federal law prohibited the officers from allowing the dog to conduct a five to seven minute attack against plaintiff who ran from his car after a traffic stop, where he was lying face down with his hands exposed, no longer resisting arrest, and repeatedly pleading with the officers to call off the dog because he surrendered. The court concluded that clearly established law did not permit this level of force. As a result, the court reversed the decision of the district court granting qualified immunity to the officers and remanded for further proceedings.