Michael v. Trevena, No. 17-1946 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to officers in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging unlawful arrest and excessive force. The court held that, accepting plaintiff's version of the events as true, the officers' use of force was objectively unreasonable. In this case, the officers suspected plaintiff of making a false statement, plaintiff was neither fleeing nor actively resisting arrest, plaintiff posed no threat to the security of the officers or the public, and the officers made the arrest by grabbing plaintiff by the throat and using a baton with sufficient force to break his arm. In regard to the unlawful arrest claim, the court also held that it was objectively unreasonable to believe that there was probable cause to arrest plaintiff where plaintiff's statement that his sister intentionally drove her car over his foot was not a false report justifying his arrest. The court remanded for further proceedings.