Moore v. City of Memphis, No. 16-5552 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Memphis animal-control officer Lynch investigated a third complaint of animal cruelty at Moore's house. Moore did not come to the door. Moore’s neighbor, Hillis, told Lynch that Moore had threatened her and that she was “terrified” of him. Backup arrived. Moore opened the door, gestured as if he had a weapon, and shut the door. A second visit was equally unsuccessful. The next day, Hillis told Lynch that Moore said he would kill Lynch if she returned. TACT (the Memphis version of SWAT) was asked to assist in serving a search warrant. At the both doors, officers announced “police" and threw flash-bangs inside. A TACT officer saw Moore enter his bedroom. Moore called 911. The team approached, calling “Memphis Police” and “search warrant.” To prevent a barricade situation, an officer threw a flash-bang into the bedroom. Officer Penny entered and saw Moore holding a semi-automatic pistol, pointed at Penny. On the 911 tape, after the flash-bang, Penny can be heard y elling, “Hands, Don! Hands, hands, hands!” Seconds later, Penny fired at Moore, killing him. Moore’s gun, still in his hand was fully loaded with a round in the chamber; he had another pistol in a holster. Officers found a rifle next to the front door and axes next to each door. Moore’s children sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming excessive force. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendants, finding no violation of Moore’s constitutional rights.