Estate of Andy Lopez v. Gelhaus, No. 16-15175 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendants' motion for summary judgment in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging the use of excessive force. In this case, a sheriff's deputy fatally shot Andy Lopez, a thirteen-year-old who was holding a toy gun. The panel held that the deputy deployed deadly force while Andy was standing on the sidewalk holding a gun that was pointed down at the ground; the deputy shot Andy without having warned Andy that such force would be used, and without observing any aggressive behavior; and thus a reasonable jury could find that the deputy's use of deadly force was not objectively reasonable. The panel further held that, taking the facts as it was required to do on interlocutory appeal, the law was clearly established at the time of the shooting that the deputy's conduct was unconstitutional. Accordingly, the panel remanded for trial.