Fazica v. Jordan, No. 18-1457 (6th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Fazica was arrested for drunk driving and taken to the Bloomfield County Police Department, and then to Oakland County Jail, which was alerted that she was intoxicated, yelling, and spitting. A Cell Extraction Team met Fazica upon her arrival. She alleges that they roughly removed her from the vehicle and immediately applied a spit hood that nearly entirely obscured her vision. The Team handcuffed her in a bent-over position, handled her forcefully, and threatened her with a taser. The entirely male team took Fazica to a room where she was made to lie on her stomach and was strip-searched. Her pants were torn off her; one officer placed his hands on her genitals and another groped her breasts. Fazica was then made to walk to a cell wearing only her bra and the hood. The hood prevented her from attributing certain specific acts to specific officers. Fazica sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that four officers used excessive force. Defendants moved for summary judgment on qualified-immunity grounds, arguing only that Fazica cannot show each officer’s personal involvement in the allegedly unconstitutional acts. The district court denied their motion. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. A reasonable jury could find, based on the record evidence, that each defendant either committed or observed and failed to stop the allegedly unconstitutional acts.