Rokusek v. Jansen, No. 17-3203 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of summary judgment to a state trooper based on qualified immunity in a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging that the trooper used excessive force. The court held that the trooper's use of force was not objectively reasonable under the circumstances. In this case, plaintiff was an unarmed, nonviolent offender who was not actively resisting or fleeing, but the trooper nonetheless lifted plaintiff off the ground and slammed his head into the floor, causing him to lose two teeth. The court held that a reasonable police officer would have known at the time of the incident that throwing a nonviolent, nonthreatening misdemeanant who was not actively resisting face first to the ground was not permissible use of force.