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Civil Rights Case Against a City and Officers for Fatal Shooting

By FindLaw Staff on April 21, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Estate of Smithers v. City of Flint, No. 09-1164, involved a 42 U.S.C. sections 1983 and 1985(2) & (3) suit against a city and two police officers in connection with the fatal shooting of an individual and the injury of two other plaintiffs, by the deceased individual's girlfriend shortly after being released from custody for trespassing.

In rejecting the plaintiffs' main contention that the officers are liable because they arrested the girlfriend for trespassing rather than for domestic violence, which would have kept her in custody longer, the court affirmed the dismissal of the claims in holding that the district court did not err in granting defendants' summary judgment on the procedural due process claim.  The court also held that the plaintiffs failed to establish a substantive due process claim as the officers' actions could not have been interpreted by a reasonable jury to have created or increased the danger to plaintiffs.  Lastly, district court did not err in dismissing the civil conspiracy claim and in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' equal protection claim. 

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