John Morrison Raines, III, as Guardian of the Estate of John Morrison Raines IV Plaintiff- Appellee
Counseling Associates, Inc.; Janet Stannard, MD; Lauren Gates, MGR; Richard Moore, EdD; Lou Strain, LPE; Mental Health Risk Retention Group, Inc; Conway Regional Medical System, Inc.; Continental Casualty Company; Rodger D. Langster, MD Defendants Andrew Burningham, Conway Police Officer; James Burroughs, Conway Police Officer; Steven Culliford, Conway Police Officer Defendants - Appellants John & Jane Does, I-X; City of Conway, Arkansas; Scottsdale Insurance Company Defendants
Submitted: December 14, 2017
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Arkansas - Little Rock
SMITH, Chief Judge, KELLY and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.
ERICKSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
response to an emergency call from a male reporting he had
been stabbed inside his apartment and was hiding in the
closet, police officers located John Raines IV
("Raines") standing outside on the sidewalk of the
apartment building holding a knife. During the encounter with
Raines, which lasted less than two minutes, the officers shot
at Raines twenty-one times. Raines is paralyzed from the
waist down as a result of the encounter.
"Jack" Morrison Raines III brought this action in
his capacity as guardian of Raines's estate. The claims
are against three police officers claiming unreasonable
seizure and against the City of Conway, Arkansas, under 28
U.S.C. § 1983 for failure to train the officers on how
to interact with a mentally ill person; for negligence, gross
negligence, and willful and wanton conduct; and for
violations of due process and the right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.
The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district
court denied the motion on all claims except for
the negligence and cruel and unusual punishment claims. The
officers appeal the denial of summary judgment based on
qualified immunity. We dismiss the appeal for lack of
March 10, 2013, police responded to an apartment complex in
Conway, Arkansas following a report of a stabbing victim
hiding inside a closet and a robbery in progress inside the
apartment. Officer Andrew Burningham was first to arrive on
scene. He approached Raines, who was standing outside on the
sidewalk by the apartment building with a knife in his hand.
Officer Burningham ordered Raines to drop the knife and then
he drew his handgun. Raines began saying "fine, fine,
fine" and raised the knife to just above his shoulder
level, waving it back and forth. Approximately 20 seconds
later, Officers Steven Culliford and James Burroughs arrived
at the scene. They drew their handguns and repeatedly
directed Raines to "Drop the knife!" Additional
officers arrived on scene and formed a semi-circle around
Raines with their guns drawn. Raines continued waving the
knife and shifting his weight from foot to foot on the
sidewalk. Officers Culliford and Burroughs told Raines that
he would be shot if he came towards them.
Officer Rachel Hanson arrived on the scene, she pointed her
handgun at Raines and instructed him to "Drop the
knife!" She then re-holstered her weapon, drew her
taser, and moved towards Raines. Detective Jason Cameron,
with his gun drawn, positioned himself directly behind
Officer Hanson in order to provide protection and
"cover" to Officer Hanson. The taser video camera
confirmed that at some point during Officer Hanson's
approach towards Raines, Officers Burningham, Culliford, and
Burroughs began firing their weapons at Raines. Detective
Cameron did not fire his weapon. In total, officers fired
twenty-one shots. Raines was struck four times - in the left
arm, left face, left chest, and mid-back. As a result of the
encounter, Raines is paralyzed from the waist down.
Burningham, Burroughs, and Culliford moved for summary
judgment on the Fourth Amendment unreasonable seizure claim,
arguing that their use of deadly force against Raines was
legally justified. In support of their argument that Raines
made an aggressive movement towards Officer Hanson while
holding the knife, the officers relied on deposition
testimony from those at the scene as well as two videos, one
taken from a police vehicle dashboard camera and one taken
from the taser video camera. Raines contended that the videos
contradict the officers' version of events and that there
remained a question as to whether Raines posed a threat when
he was shot by the officers.
studying the videos and considering the other evidence
presented by the parties, the district court held that Raines
raised a genuine dispute as to whether the officers had
probable cause to suspect that Raines posed a significant
threat of death or serious physical injury to others.
Accordingly, the district court denied summary judgment on
the issue of qualified immunity. This interlocutory appeal
Court reviews de novo the denial of qualified
immunity. Rush v. Perryman, 579 F.3d 908, 912 (8th
Cir. 2009) (citing Duckworth v. St. Louis Metro. Police
Dep't, 491 F.3d 401, 405 (8th Cir. 2007)).
"[W]e will affirm if 'there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.'" Estate of Morgan v.
Cook, 686 F.3d 494, 496 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). "In determining whether an officer
is entitled to qualified immunity, we ask (1) 'whether,
taking the facts in the light most favorable to the injured
party, the alleged facts demonstrate that the official's
conduct violated a constitutional right'; and (2) whether
the asserted constitutional right is clearly
established." Lee v. Driscoll, 871 F.3d 581,
584 (8th Cir. 2017) (quoting Wallingford v. Olson,
592 F.3d 888, 892 (8th Cir. 2010)).
an order denying qualified immunity is immediately
appealable, "our interlocutory jurisdiction is
limited." Mallak v. City of Baxter, 823 F.3d
441, 445-46 (8th Cir. 2016) (citing Cooper v.
Martin, 634 F.3d 477, 479-80 (8th Cir. 2011) and
Johnson v. Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 319-20 (1995)).
"[W]e have authority to decide the purely legal issue of
whether the facts alleged by the plaintiff are a violation of
clearly established law." Franklin ex rel. Franklin
v. Peterson, 878 F.3d 631, 635 (8th Cir. 2017)
(citations omitted). We do not have jurisdiction over an
interlocutory appeal from a district court's denial of
summary judgment based on qualified immunity when the denial
is premised on a determination that "the pretrial record
sets forth a 'genuine' issue of fact for trial."
Mallak, 823 F.3d at 446 ...