Partridge v. City of Benton, No. 18-1803 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
After a police officer shot and killed 17 year old Keagan Schweikle, his parents and others filed suit against the officer, the Chief of Police, and the City under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Arkansas law. The district court granted qualified immunity to the officers and judgment on the pleadings.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that, in light of the circumstances, the officer's actions were not objectively reasonable and Keagan's right to be free from excessive force was clearly established at the time. In this case, the officer shot a non-resisting, non-fleeing minor as he moved his gun in compliance with the officer's commands to drop his gun. Therefore, no reasonable officer could conclude that Keagan posed an immediate threat of serious physical harm. Consequently, the court reversed the dismissal of the Monell claims and vacated the dismissal of the state law claims. Finally, the court held that the parents failed to allege a due process claim under the Fourteenth Amendment to a familial relationship, where they failed to allege that the shooting was directed at their relationship with their son.