Ciolino v. Gikas, No. 16-2107 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
In this excessive force case, the First Circuit sustained the district court’s post-verdict denial of qualified immunity to Defendant, a police officer on crowd-control duty who grabbed Plaintiff from behind by the collar and dragged him backward and downward to the pavement after seeing Plaintiff taunting K-9 dogs. A jury found that Defendant violated Plaintiff’s right to be free from excessive force under the Fourth Amendment. The district court then denied Defendant’s post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law, thus rejecting Defendant’s argument that he was entitled to qualified immunity. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Defendant’s actions not only violated Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment right but also fell outside the margin of error that qualified immunity provides.