Lawsuit Have Moved Forward
Aug 6, 2021 —
(KDH) On July 14, 2020, Baskett, Hatfield Jr. and Suess filed a motion to dismiss the case against them, which Albright has not yet ruled upon. In the report that was filed on May 11, Manske said that the officers are not entitled to qualified immunity, which is a legal doctrine that shields police from liability in many situations.
“According to (Reed-Bright’s) complaint, Reed did not have a gun in his hand nor fire at officer at the time of the raid…Reed and (Eva Brocks) were in bed when the raid began and would not have been able to fire shots as fast as the unannounced shooting commenced. Thus, (Reed-Bright) alleges that the defendants shot and killed an unarmed man in his own home during a no-knock raid. If this is true, officers used lethal force at a moment when Reed posed no immediate threat of serious harm; thus, qualified immunity is improper.”
Manske also says that the Reed’s claim of excessive force be allowed because the force was excessive, unreasonable and resulted in injury, according to Manske’s report.
The judge wrote that the two claims of conspiracy against Reed should be dismissed.
Officers object to judge’s report
On May 17, attorneys for the officers filed a 6-page objection to Manske’s report. They argue that the officers’ use of force was not excessive because an injury must directly result from the use of force.
“An officer whose bullet did not strike anyone, even if the firing of it was excessive, cannot have caused the injury that is an essential element to an excessive force claim,” according to the motion.
It has not been revealed which of the officers fired the shot that killed Reed, although KPD stated previously that Reed was not killed by Custance. Custance was sentenced in 2019 to a term of six years of deferred adjudication probation for tampering or fabricating evidence.
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