Ross v. City of Jackson, No. 17-1390 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to three officers based on qualified immunity on plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim, alleging the violation of his constitutional rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The court held that the officers were justified in their efforts to investigate plaintiff's Facebook post asking in response to a post advocating against gun control measures: "Which one do I need to shoot up a kindergarten?" The court held that no exigent circumstances prevented the officers from gathering additional information before making the arrest. Here, a minimal further investigation would have revealed that plaintiff's post was not a true threat. Therefore, it was beyond debate that had the officers engaged in further investigation, the only reasonable conclusion was that plaintiff had not violated the law for disturbing the peace.