United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Rights — excessive force
Summary judgment was properly granted on an excessive force claim to officers who shot and killed and armed suicidal man.
“The fact that Escobedo did not threaten anyone during the negotiation process does not thereby mean that he did not point the gun at Martin when the team entered his bedroom. It does not contradict Martin’s or Brown’s accounts of the shooting, and it does not even call it into doubt. Likewise, Dr. Carpenter’s deposition testimony does not contradict the accounts of Martin and Brown. It merely states that the autopsy was inconclusive on the position of Escobedo’s arm. Finally, the discrepancy in Officer Martin’s and Officer Brown’s accounts of the shooting regarding how far Escobedo extended his arm from his chest is so minor that it hardly merits consideration. In a dark room filled with tear gas, it would be difficult to ascertain the precise distance at which Escobedo was extending his arm. In short, none of the evidence highlighted by the Estate creates a genuine issue of material fact. Even the most generous reading of these facts in favor of the Estate does not merit a rejection of the officers’ testimony regarding Escobedo’s actions during the shooting. The district court correctly observed that the Estate’s evidence did nothing more than ‘highlight minor differences and discrepancies in the Defendants’ accounts,’ which was not sufficient to ‘survive summary judgment or win a motion to reconsider.’ For those reasons, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Officers Martin and Brown on the Estate’s excessive force claims.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Springmann, J., Manion, J.