McGrath v. Tavares, et al., No. 12-2277 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that police officers used excessive force when they shot and killed her sixteen-year-old son (Anthony). The district court granted the police officers' motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims. The officers responded to an activated burglar alarm at a liquor store, were involved in a car chase with Anthony, and when one of the officers exited his vehicle, Anthony drove towards him. The shots were fired at Anthony when he was driving towards one of the officers. The court concluded that a reasonable officer in the same circumstances would have believed that Anthony posed a threat of serious physical harm to the officer when the officer fired the shots. In any event, the officers were entitled to summary judgment based on qualified immunity because they did not violate clearly established law. Plaintiff failed to point to any case that clearly establishes the unconstitutionality of using deadly force to end a car chase that threatened the physical safety of the officers and others in the area. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.