Prosper v. Martin, No. 19-12857 (11th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
After Junior Prosper was shot and killed by a police officer, Prosper's widow filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the officer. The district court found that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity and granted his motion for summary judgment.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that the district court was within its discretion to exclude the opinions of two expert witnesses. The court also concluded that the officer acted as an objectively reasonable officer both in tasing and in using deadly force on Prosper. The court explained that plaintiff's interpretation of the blurry surveillance video amounts to mere speculation and thus the video fails to create the issues of fact that plaintiff says it does. Rather, the officer's version of events remains unrebutted and controls the court's analysis. The court concluded that the officer did not violate Prosper's Fourth Amendment rights by using deadly force after Prosper struck him in the face, resisted arrest through three taser discharges, and bit down on his finger while "twisting and turning" with unabating intensity. Furthermore, the district court did not err by finding that the officer acted as an objectively reasonable officer by using the taser.