Hinson v. Bias, No. 16-14112 (11th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights by employing excessive force in effecting his arrest and his Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.
The Eleventh Circuit held that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity on the excessive force and deliberate indifference claims and vacated the district court's conclusion to the contrary. The court held that the officers' conduct in taking plaintiff to the ground and fist-striking him were objectively reasonable uses of force to get plaintiff to produce his hands for cuffing. In this case, plaintiff had just stabbed the victim in the throat and the officers had no way of being sure he was not still armed at the time, and plaintiff repeatedly failed to comply with instructions. The court also held that the officers were not deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs where the evidence demonstrated that he did not have a serious medical need. Rather, plaintiff's injuries were merely superficial and non-life threatening.