Judge affirms dismissal of city of Little Rock in lawsuit over fatal police shooting | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Judge affirms dismissal of city of Little Rock in lawsuit over fatal police shooting

Posted By on Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 1:13 PM

JOSH HASTINGS; Remains only defendant in lawsuit over 2012 shooting death of Bobby Moore, a burglary suspect.
  • JOSH HASTINGS; Remains only defendant in lawsuit over 2012 shooting death of Bobby Moore, a burglary suspect.
Federal Judge Brian Miller has affirmed his decision to dismiss the city of Little Rock and former Police Chief Stuart Thomas as defendants in a lawsuit brought by the mother of Bobby Moore, killed by then-Office Josh Hastings in 2012.

In a 19-page decision filed Friday, the judge denied a motion to reconsider. He sharply contested arguments made by attorneys for Moore's mother, Sylvia Perkins, that they had established a pattern of poor investigation of use of force by the Little Rock police and that the hiring of Hastings was a mistake sufficient to include them as defendants in the case.

The judge's order faults Perkins' attorney for cherry picking some facts and misrepresenting others.

The judge addressed something I'd mentioned in an earlier item on the request for reconsideration, a "phantom quote" cited by Perkins' attorney, Mike Laux. Miller had cited an 8th Circuit case, but provided a quote from another case that said “investigation of a complaint is sufficient as a matter of law to defeat a claim that the city responded inadequately to information about . . . prior misconduct.” Miller acknowledged that the quote did not appear in the case he cited, but a different case. But he said his decision showed that he'd followed the 8th Circuit precedent that said deliberate indifference couldn't be supported if a matter was investigated and an officer exonerated or disciplined.

Moore, a suspect in a car burglary, was shot while driving a car on an apartment complex parking lot by Hastings. The police investigation concluded Hastings hadn't been truthful about events and he was prosecuted. Two manslaughter trials ended in hung juries and the case was dropped. He was fired from the police department and remains the sole defendant in the lawsuit alleging wrongful death.

Wrote Judge Miller:
The order granting summary judgment was based on the law of this circuit and it is the role of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether the law was correctly applied. It is not the role of this court to determine whether the city of Little Rock or its police department operates perfectly. The “arbitrary parsing” of the evidence, as Perkins calls it, was based on the legal elements of her claims and on the quality of the arguments
made by the parties.
Miller said, among others, that Laux's argument about a shoddy police investigation of Moore's shooting was irrelevant to the question of discriminatory behavior by police in past investigations of use of force. He faulted the "conclusory" testimony of an expert witness who said a finding of excessive force in only 6 percent of more than 500 reviews of force established a "pattern and practice."  The judge said no evidence of specific cases had been offered and the expert said he had not reviewed individual cases. Bare statistics alone are insufficient, he said.


I asked Laux for a comment. He said:

"We are disappointed by the court's ruling. However, we stand firmly by the assertions in the motion regarding the serious misstatement of the law, and we believe the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will validate our position. "

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • UA-Fort Smith chancellor leaving for South Dakota, interim named

    Edward Serna will lead UA-FS will search for new chancellor is made.
    • Aug 16, 2018
  • Satan vs. the supremacists

    So it goes. The Satanic Temple unveils its statue for a rally in support of the First Amendment protection against state establishment of religion. Meanwhile, a tiny group of white supremacists appeared in opposition, lending comfort to Bro. Jason Rapert's Biblical slab on the back side of the Capitol.
    • Aug 16, 2018
  • Thursday's open line

    The open line and daily news roundup, with Reality TV-style news all over.
    • Aug 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Hospitality, restaurant groups oppose bathroom bill

    Add the restaurant and hospitality association to those opposed to Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's bill to keep transgender people out of public restrooms that match their gender identity.
    • Mar 16, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation