Johnson v. City of Minneapolis, No. 17-2074 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity to a police officer and summary judgment based on official immunity to the City. The court held that the officer lacked arguable probable cause to arrest plaintiff where the totality of the circumstances suggested that the officer had reason to know that plaintiff could not deliver the type of pain he felt (a kick) and he had no information suggesting that she was even in a position to do so. Furthermore, the arguable probable cause undergirding the warrantless arrest here was missing a fundamental element: observation—either by the officer or a witness who relayed that information to him—of a criminal act. The court also held that unlawfulness of the officer's conduct was clearly established at the time. Finally, the court held that a factfinder could determine the officer had reason to believe that he arrested plaintiff without probable cause, and the City, therefore, was not entitled to official immunity.