Nehad v. Browder, No. 18-55035 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against a police officer, the police chief, and the city after the officer shot and killed Fridoon Nehad. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment with respect to the Fourteenth Amendment claims, reversed with respect to the remaining claims, and remanded. The panel held that triable issues remain regarding the reasonableness of the officer's use of deadly force, specifically (1) the officer's credibility; (2) whether Nehad posed a significant, if any, danger to anyone; (3) whether the severity of Nehad's alleged crime warranted the use of deadly force; (4) whether the officer gave or Nehad resisted any commands; (5) the significance of the officer's failure to identify himself as a police officer or warn Nehad of the impending use of force; and (6) the availability of less intrusive means of subduing Nehad.
The panel held that these factual questions precluded a grant of summary judgment based on qualified immunity, because it was well established at the time that the use of deadly force under the circumstances was objectively unreasonable. The panel also held that plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence of police department customs, practices, and supervisory conduct to support a finding of entity and supervisory liability, and the district court never afforded plaintiffs an opportunity to be heard before granting summary judgment on the negligence and wrongful death claims sua sponte.