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Civil rights suit against a police officer for excessive force
Raiche v. Pietroski, 09-1910, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of a police officer's motion for judgment as a matter of law and a motion for a new trial, in plaintiff's civil rights suit against the police officer for injuries sustained as a result of excessive force during arrest.
In affirming the judgment, the court held that the officer is not entitled to qualified immunity against plaintiff's excessive force claim under section 1983, as an objectively reasonable officer would have believed that tackling plaintiff from his motorcycle and slamming him into the pavement would violate his constitutional right to be free from excessive force. Further, the officer is not entitled to qualified immunity against plaintiff's excessive force claims made under state law for precisely the same reasons that he is not entitled to qualified immunity against plaintiff's excessive force claim made under section 1983. And lastly, because the jury's verdict against the officer on the excessive force claims was supported by sufficient and ample evidence in the record, a new trial is not warranted.