McGrew v. Sergeant Duncan, No. 18-2022 (6th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Detroit Police Department executed a search warrant on McGrew's home. She heard a bang at the door. When she investigated, Detroit Police Officers were standing in her living room, wearing all black. Masks concealed their faces. She could see only their eyes. One officer threw her to the ground, put his knee in her back and handcuffed her. McGrew stated the handcuffs were tight. The officer responded: “[S]hut up, b----, you shouldn’t be so fat.” When she complained again, he responded: “[I]f you don’t shut your f---ing mouth I can blow your head off and nothing can be done.” Officers seized a bag of marijuana and a pistol, which they documented on the search warrant return. They also allegedly seized but did not mention, another gun, diamond earrings, a tablet computer, and a new-in-the-box phone. Days later, McGrew went to the hospital and was diagnosed with musculoskeletal strain in her chest and bruising on her wrist. McGrew sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, asserting excessive force and deliberate indifference. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the denial of motions based on qualified immunity and governmental immunity and summary judgment in favor of the Department and the officers on an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. McGrew has created a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the officers violated her right to be free from excessively tight handcuffing that causes physical injury. McGrew’s right was clearly established at the time.