WILLIS v. CITY OF FRESNO No. 11-16915.
CHRIS WILLIS; MARY WILLIS, individually and Successors in Interest to Stephen Willis; JENNAFER URIBE, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF FRESNO; GREG CATTON, Officer; DANIEL ASTACIO, Officer; JERRY DYER, Chief, Defendants-Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Filed May 30, 2013.
Before: KOZINSKI, Chief Judge, and O'SCANNLAIN and N.R. SMITH, Circuit Judges.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Two Fresno police officers, Greg Catton and Daniel Astacio, shot Stephen Willis to death in the parking lot of his apartment complex. His parents, Chris and Mary Willis, as well as his girlfriend, Jennafer Uribe,
The Willises argue that genuine disputes of material fact remain as to their Fourth Amendment excessive-force claim. We agree. First, the Willises offered evidence suggesting that neither Catton nor Astacio identified himself as a police officer or warned Stephen to drop his gun before they began firing at him. This disputed fact is material. See Deorle v. Rutherford,
The district court erred in granting summary judgment to Catton and Astacio on the Willises' Fourth Amendment claim.
The Willises contend that genuine disputes of material fact remain as to their Fourteenth Amendment "shock the conscience" claim. We agree in part and disagree in part. A rational juror could conclude that, after the officers approached Stephen's car, assuming Stephen's pistol was still holstered, the officers' initial volley of gunfire reflected deliberate indifference to the risk of Stephen's death. But a rational juror could not conclude that, from the moment Stephen retreated to the back of the car to the point at which Catton fired the final bullet, Catton or Astacio acted with a "purpose to harm" unrelated to a legitimate law-enforcement objective. See Wilkinson v. Torres,
The district court erred in concluding that no rational juror could find that Catton or Astacio's initial firing, before Willis began to move or attempted to draw his gun, shocked the conscience. With respect to subsequent events (from the time Willis started to engage in evasive maneuvers), the district court properly concluded that the officers' conduct did not shock the conscience, because it did not evince a purpose to harm unrelated to law-enforcement objectives.
The Willises argue that genuine disputes of material fact remain as to their supervisory-liability claim against Dyer. We disagree. The Willises fail to meet their burden of showing that Dyer himself "caused the deprivation of a federal right." Kentucky v. Graham,
The district court did not err in granting summary judgment to Dyer on the Willises' supervisory-liability claim.
The Willises argue that genuine issues of fact remain as to their Monell claims against the City. We disagree. The Willises fail to show that "city policymakers [were] on actual or constructive notice that a particular omission in their training program cause[d] city employees to violate citizens' rights." Connick v. Thompson,
The district court did not err in granting summary judgment to the City on the Willises' Monell claims.
The Willises argue that genuine disputes of material fact remain as to their negligence-based wrongful death claim. We agree. See Cal. Gov. Code § 815.2(a); Young v. Cnty. of Los Angeles,
The district court erred in granting summary judgment to the officers and the City on the Willises' state-law wrongful death claim.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment is
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