Powell v. Snook, No. 19-13340 (11th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant, a police sergeant who was at the wrong house because of imprecise dispatch directions, shot and killed William David Powell, who was innocent of any crime and standing in his driveway. Powell was holding a pistol because he and his wife thought they had heard a prowler. Powell's wife filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against defendant in his individual capacity, alleging that he violated her husband's constitutional right to be free from excessive force.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, concluding that plaintiff has not identified case law with materially similar facts or with a broad statement of principle giving defendant fair notice that he had to warn Powell at the earliest possible moment and before using deadly force. Therefore, she has not met her burden of showing qualified immunity is not appropriate. The court stated that plaintiff has not shown that defendant's actions were unreasonable for qualified immunity purposes.