Henry M. Davis Plaintiff- Appellant
Michael White, in his individual capacity; City of Ferguson, Missouri; John Beaird; Kim Tihen Defendants - Appellees
Submitted: January 11, 2017
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - St. Louis
RILEY, Chief Judge  , LOKEN, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, Circuit Judge.
M. Davis sued the City of Ferguson and three police officers,
alleging they beat him while he was handcuffed. See Davis
v. White, 794 F.3d 1008 (8th Cir. 2015). His claims were
tried to a jury after the district court denied his
Batson challenge to the officers' peremptory
strike of the only remaining African-American venireperson,
refused to give an adverse inference jury instruction for
spoliation of evidence, admitted hospital records from the
night of the incident, and excluded emails sent by an officer
not sued. The jury found for the officers. Davis appeals the
pretrial rulings. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1291, this court affirms.
3:00 and 4:00 am on September 20, 2009, Davis was arrested
for driving while intoxicated and taken to the Ferguson jail.
An altercation occurred as he was being taken to a cell.
Additional officers arrived as backup.
claimed Officer Michael White pushed him into the cell and
slammed him against the back wall. After complying with
instructions to lie down and put his hands behind his back,
he was handcuffed and beaten.
to the officers, Davis was aggressive and resisted. White
tried to control the situation, using surprise, by pushing
Davis into the cell. Davis grabbed White, punched him in the
face, broke his nose, then held on as White pushed him
against the back wall of the cell, yelling at Davis to let go
and using defensive strikes. Davis and White fell to the
ground, along with Officer John J. Beaird, on top of Officer
Kim R. Tihen. Tihen hit Davis on the back of his head with
her handcuffs from the bottom of the pile. The officers
eventually placed Davis in handcuffs.
suffered a concussion and scalp laceration. When the EMTs
arrived, Davis was uncooperative and belligerent toward them,
so they could not thoroughly assess him. Davis was taken to a
hospital for treatment. He refused to be treated until
hospital staff took photos of his injuries. According to
Beaird, Davis continued to be belligerent toward the hospital
staff, "cussing and screaming" at them and refusing
treatment. He returned to the Ferguson jail without being
cells at the jail are under video surveillance. In September
2009 the system used video tapes to record each 24-hour
period starting at 7:00 am. The tapes were marked with the
day the recording began. Because the incident occurred before
7:00 am, it was on the tape marked "9/19/09" rather
than the one marked "9/20/09." When the officer in
charge of the video system, Sergeant William J. Mudd, was
told to preserve the recording of the incident, he preserved
only the tape marked "9/20/09, " so the tape
containing video of the incident was not preserved and most
likely was recorded over. Mudd testified it did not occur to
him to preserve the September 19 tape in order to get the
video from the early morning of September 20.
jury selection, the officers used a peremptory strike on the
only remaining African-American venireperson. Davis made a
Batson challenge, which the district court denied.
trial, the court admitted hospital records over Davis's
objections. The district court also excluded racist emails
sent and received by Mudd, which Davis offered as proof of
Mudd's bias against African-Americans.
moved to sanction the officers for spoliation of evidence,
requesting an adverse inference instruction based on the
failure to preserve the ...