9th Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity for LAPD Officer

Smith v. Agdeppa and Los Angeles Police Department

San Francisco – The Ninth Circuit denied qualified immunity to Defendant LAPD Officer Edward Agdeppa in a federal suit filed by decedent Albert Dorsey’s mother, Paulette Smith.

The civil action alleges Officer Agdeppa used excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to shoot and kill Dorsey, who was naked, unarmed, and in a shower at LA Fitness in Hollywood.

The Ninth Circuit denied qualified immunity on two grounds.

First, a reasonable jury could reject the police officers’ account of the shooting because there were significant discrepancies between their version of the events and other evidence in the record.

Second, recognizing the Court has long held that the Fourth Amendment requires officers to warn before using deadly force when practicable. Officer Agdeppa’s sworn declaration stated that he told Dorsey to “stop” during the four minute encounter. The Ninth Circuit determined, like the District Court, that a jury could decide that Agdeppa’s use of deadly force violated clearly established law.

Read the Opinion

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