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Degolia v. Kenton County

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington

May 7, 2019

NEIL DEGOLIA PLAINTIFF
v.
KENTON COUNTY ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          William O. Bertelsman, United States District Judge.

         This civil rights action was brought by Plaintiff Neil Degolia after he was arrested for public intoxication and taken to the Kenton County Detention Center, where Degolia alleges deputies threw him to the floor in the booking area and beat him, causing a black eye and injuries to his jaw, and then secured him in a restraint chair for just over two hours. Consistent with the surveillance video that captured these events, Degolia maintains he did not provoke the incident.

         The Complaint contains the following six counts:

Count I: Violation of the federal and state constitutional prohibition against the “use of excessive force” by virtue of the deputies' conduct in the booking area.
Count II: Violation of the federal and state constitutional protection against the “use of excessive force” and “cruel and unusual punishment” as a result of the deputies' use of the restraint chair.
Count III: State-law negligence.
Count IV: Assault and battery under state law.
Count V: Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Count VI: Respondeat superior as the basis for imposing liability on Kenton County, Kenton County Fiscal Court, and Kenton County Detention Center.

         This matter is now before the Court on several motions that all boil down to cross-motions for summary judgment. Those motions are as follows: (1) Defendants' joint motion for summary judgment on all claims (Doc. 61); (2) Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment on the issues of qualified immunity and the use of excessive force (Doc. 63); (3) Defendants' joint motion to strike plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 64); (4) Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to file a dispositive motion (the previously filed Doc. 63) or deny Defendants' motion to strike (Doc. 67); and (5) Plaintiff's motion for leave to file an affidavit as a surreply to the motion to strike (Doc. 74). The Court previously heard oral argument on the parties' motions and took the matter under submission. (Doc. 77).

         For the reasons that follow, the Court will GRANT IN PART and DENY IN PART Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and GRANT IN PART and DENY IN PART Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In this case, the material facts of the events in question were captured by several video recording devices. Thus, heeding the instruction of the Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit, the Court “view[s] the facts in the light depicted by the videotape[s]” as set forth below, Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 381 (2007), and “any relevant gaps or uncertainties left by the videos” are construed “in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff.” Latits v. Phillips, 878 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 2017).

         A. Arrest

         Beginning late in the evening on March 4, 2017, Degolia drank approximately four tall draft beers at a bar in Covington, Kentucky, the last of which was ingested around 2:00 AM on March 5. (Doc. 61-3, Degolia Dep. at 66). Degolia then walked to a nearby pizza restaurant. Id. at 61-66. According to Degolia, he was waiting in line when the staff ordered everyone out due to a disagreement that had erupted between an employee and a woman standing in front of Degolia. Id. at 63-65, 70-71.

         Once outside the restaurant, Degolia was confronted by police officers at approximately 2:40 AM. (Doc. 1, ¶10); (Doc. 61-2). Body camera footage shows an officer approach Degolia on the sidewalk and ask him to leave. (Doc. 54, Ulrich Bodycam at 1:17-20). When Degolia questions the order, an officer instructs Degolia to “walk away” or be arrested. Id. at 1:20-26. Degolia initially agrees but then reengages in conversation with the officer and proposes that “if you walk, I'll walk.” Id. at 1:27-38. The proposition is not appreciated, and the officer grabs Degolia to arrest him. Id. at 1:38-41. The image is obscured, but it is evident that Degolia is reluctant to put his hands behind his back. Id. at 1:41-2:06. Once in handcuffs, Degolia is compliant but visibly and audibly disgruntled. Id. at 2:15-3:34.

         Degolia was cited for public intoxication. (Doc. 1, ¶ 10); (Doc. 61-2). The citation states that Degolia “was extremly [sic] intoxicated” and “unsteady on feet” and had “slurred speech” and “bloodshot watery eyes.” (Doc. 61-2).[1] At approximately 2:56 AM, Degolia was transported to Kenton County Detention Center (“KC Detention Center”). (Doc. 1, ¶ 10; Doc. 61-2).

         B. Sally Port at the Detention Center

         Video surveillance (without any audio) shows Degolia arriving at the sally port around 3:03 AM, accompanied by two officers. (Doc. 54, Sally 4 at 3:03:41-55).[2] As Degolia waits to enter the facility, he is seen leaning nonchalantly against the wall, id. at 3:03:56-3:05:41, until an officer near the intake door motions for Degolia to approach. Id. 3:05:38-3:06:54.

         Before entering the booking area, Degolia was searched in an enclosed vestibule between the sally port and the booking area. At 3:07 AM, surveillance footage shows a deputy leading Degolia in handcuffs into the vestibule without conflict, after which Degolia's handcuffs are removed. (Doc. 54, Booking Search at 3:07:32-54). The intake deputy seen conducting the search is Defendant Aaron Branstutter. (Doc. 61-4, Branstutter Dep. at 50-51). At the time, Branstutter had been an employee for just shy of seven months. See Id. at 25. Branstutter stands about 5' 8” and weighs 225 pounds. Id. at 20. Degolia is 6' 0” and weighs roughly 210 pounds. (Doc. 61-3 at 54).

         In the search vestibule, the video shows Degolia remove his belt, shoes, and something from his wrist, and place his hands on an adjacent wall according to Branstutter's directions. (Doc. 54, Booking Search at 3:07:54-3:09:29). Branstutter then searches Degolia without incident. Id. at 3:09:29-3:10:23. Degolia is shown exiting the search vestibule where Branstutter remained. (Doc. 54, Booking Search at 3:10:23-34). Although Degolia had just been charged with public intoxication, a fact Branstutter was aware of at the time, (Doc. 61-4 at 68), Branstutter reported on the intake assessment form he completed that Degolia did not engage in any assaultive or violent behavior. (Doc. 1-1); (Doc. 1, ¶ 11).[3]

         C. Takedown and Restraint in the Booking Area

         Surveillance footage shows Degolia enter the booking area at 3:10 AM, without handcuffs, and approach the booking counter to complete paperwork. (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 1 at 3:10:35-47). The booking clerk interacting with Degolia from behind the counter is Katlyn Beatty. (Doc. 61-5, Beatty Dep. at 10, 49-50).

         Shortly thereafter, Defendant Michael Crouthers is seen entering the booking area and stands a few feet behind Degolia. (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 1 at 3:11:07- 14). Less than two minutes later, Degolia turns and appears to say something to Crouthers, and then casually sits down in a chair in front of the booking counter. Id. at 3:12:41-54. Beatty testified that prior to Degolia sitting down she was asking him medical questions when Degolia told Beatty that he wanted to talk to his attorney and did not want to answer any more questions. (Doc. 61-5 at 53, 56). As a result, Beatty suspended Degolia's booking, told him to sit down, and called out the situation to those on the floor. Id. at 53, 60-61, 65. Beatty testified that Degolia did not yell at her, did not “cuss” at her, did not engage in “violent behavior, ” and did not do anything disruptive toward her or anyone else in the booking area. (Doc. 61-5 at 83-84, 90-93, 95).

         For the next two minutes, the video shows Degolia sitting in a chair with his arms folded across his chest as Crouthers moves about the booking area. (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 1 at 3:13:07-3:15:07).[4] Crouthers then approaches Degolia from behind and stands next to Degolia. Id. at 3:15:01-06. The two appear to engage in a brief conversation. Id. at 3:15:07-35. Crouthers testified that at that time he asked Degolia to stand up. (Doc. 61-7 at 69-70).[5] Crouthers, nevertheless, walks away and Degolia returns to folding his arms across his chest. (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 1 at 3:15:07-53).

         According to the surveillance footage, at approximately 3:16 AM Defendant Branstutter enters the booking area from the search vestibule and touches Degolia's shoulder on the way to delivering some paperwork to the booking counter. Id. at 3:16:00-04. Branstutter, thereafter, pauses next to Degolia and there is a brief exchange of inaudible words. Id. at 3:16:04-14.[6] Degolia continues to sit and fold his arms as Branstutter walks out of view in the direction of the search vestibule behind Degolia. Id. at 3:16:14-18. Branstutter testified that he went back into the search vestibule to assist another deputy, Defendant Amanda Armstrong. (Doc. 61-4 at 63). At this time, Defendant Crouthers is at the end of the booking area furthest from the surveillance camera (and from where Degolia is sitting) and is walking toward Degolia. Id. The only other individual that can be seen on the booking floor is Nurse Gurren in a bright yellow top and white pants at the booking counter, presumably speaking to someone. Id.; (Doc. 61-5, Beatty Dep. at 84, 108, 113; Doc. 61-4 at 46, 129). Degolia is still sitting in the chair, almost motionless, with his arms folded. (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 1 at 3:16:15-22).

         The next one and one-half minutes of surveillance footage capture events giving rise to this lawsuit. Id. at 3:16:18-3:17:39. At the beginning, Crouthers is seen walking toward the surveillance camera near where Degolia is sitting. Id. at 3:16:18- 20.[7] Defendant Branstutter then walks briskly into view from the direction of the search vestibule just as Crouthers is nearing the door to the search vestibule. Id. at 3:16:20-23.[8] Crouthers and Branstutter merge into synchronized paths and begin to approach Degolia from the blind spot over his right shoulder. Id. The two deputies flank Degolia on each side. Id. at 3:16:22-24.[9] Immediately, Branstutter grabs Degolia underneath his left arm, Crouthers grabs Degolia's right arm, and each deputy appears (almost imperceptibly) to lift or tug at Degolia. Id. at 3:16:23-25. Degolia does not rise but quickly pulls his left arm back from Branstutter just as Crouthers moves to set some paperwork in his hand on the booking counter. Id. at 3:16:25-6.[10] Branstutter testified that he does not specifically recall whether he attempted to lift Degolia but claims Degolia “went dead weight” and “just didn't help . . . he didn't try to stand up.” (Doc. 61-4 at 87, 91).

         Within a split second, Branstutter quickly grasps Degolia's neck with his right arm in a headlock-type chokehold and forcefully slings Degolia to the left and onto the floor. Id. at 3:16:26-30. Because Crouthers was busy setting his paperwork down on the booking counter, his reaction is slightly delayed as he scrambles to reach for Degolia on the floor. Id.

         As Branstutter and Degolia come down on the floor, Branstutter is positioned on top and still has Degolia in a headlock with his right arm. Id. Less than a second elapses before Branstutter begins using his left hand in a closed fist to strike Degolia two to three times in the head region. Id. at 3:16:30-31; id. at 3:16:31-35. With both deputies on top of Degolia trying to restrain him, Branstutter then delivers at least four more closed-fist blows to Degolia's head. Id. at 3:16:35-41. A struggle ensues with Degolia on his knees and the deputies on top, but Branstutter maintains the headlock on Degolia as each deputy wrestles to grab hold of one of Degolia's arms. Id. at 3:16:40-54. Degolia eventually breaks free of Branstutter's headlock, but the two deputies remain on top of Degolia as they struggle to handcuff him. Id. at 3:16:54- 3:17:01.

         At that moment, Defendant Armstrong enters the booking area, walks to where the skirmish is taking place (now several feet from where Degolia was once sitting) and grabs hold of Degolia's right hand. Id. at 3:17:02-13. Degolia is shown lying face down and the deputies are able to handcuff Degolia's hands behind his back. Id. at 3:17:13-23. Sergeant Landrum then walks into the scene and observes as Defendants Branstutter, Crouthers, and Armstrong finish restraining Degolia, lift him to his feet, and escort him out of view. Id. at 3:17:23-41; (Doc. 61-7 at 63).

         The incident report Sergeant Landrum later completed states that he was “contacted by Deputy Branstutter via institutional radio to report to booking for Inmate being [sic] disruptive and failing to follow deputy instructions.” (Doc. 1-3). Indeed, Branstutter testified as well that he called for Landrum over the radio prior to the takedown. (Doc. 61-4, Branstutter Dep. at 85-86).

         D. Inside Cell B2

         Degolia is next seen on video surveillance in another area of the KC Detention Center as he is led to booking cell B2 by Crouthers and Branstutter, with Armstrong and Landrum in tow. (Doc. 54, Booking Cells Pt. 1 at 3:17:44-49); (Doc. 61-4 at 111; Doc. 61-7 at 71). A different segment of video footage taken from a handheld device (which includes audio) shows Degolia inside the cell, kneeling with his hands cuffed behind his back. Landrum is standing at Degolia's side while Crouthers is holding Degolia's arms slightly elevated behind his back and exerting downward pressure on Degolia's neck. (Doc. 54, Degolia Safety Chair at 0:00:00-06). For nearly a minute Degolia is not resisting but is lamenting about what just occurred in the booking area. Id. at 0:00:06-53.

         Degolia asks Crouthers to “let go, ” and when Crouthers does not comply with the request, Degolia begins to shout, curse, and struggle. Id. at 0:00:53-1:06. Crouthers and Landrum assist Degolia to his feet and walk him to the “Safety Chair” stationed outside the cell. Id. at 0:01:06-26.

         E. The “Safety Chair”

         Both Crouthers and Branstutter testified that it was Landrum's decision to place Degolia in the Safety Chair. (Doc. 61-7 at 35-36, 72-73; Doc. 61-4 at 111-12). Outside Degolia's cell, Branstutter and Crouthers are shown securing Degolia in the Safety Chair with straps at seven points of contact. (Doc. 54, Degolia Safety Chair at 0:01:26-0:04:21); (Doc. 61-4 at 112-12; Doc. 61-7 at 73-75, 91). Degolia's left eye is already beginning to swell. There is some taunting and jeering from Degolia and at one point, Degolia turns his head to Crouthers and threatens to “snap your head right off your fucking shoulders.” (Doc. 54, Degolia Safety Chair at 0:01:34-50).

         The deputies are able to secure Degolia in the chair without incident. Nurse Gurren then appears in the frame, checks each point of contact on the restraints, and signals her approval. (Doc. 54, Degolia Safety Chair at 0:04:26-41); (Doc. 61-7 at 91; Doc. 61-4 at 46, 115). With Degolia secured in the Safety Chair, overhead surveillance footage shows that Degolia was wheeled into cell B2 at 3:23 AM. (Doc. 54, Booking Cells Pt. 1 at 3:23:05-3:24:57); (Doc. 61-7 at 91; Doc. 61-4 at 112-13).

         While Landrum is in the cell with Degolia, Branstutter can be seen on surveillance footage from outside the door rubbing and stretching his left hand-the same hand used moments before to strike Degolia repeatedly in the face. (Doc. 54, Booking Cells Pt. 1 at 3:24:30-48). Degolia remained in the restraint chair for just over two hours, until, as Degolia alleges and records confirm, Degolia was released from the chair sometime between 5:25 and 5:34 AM. (Doc. 1, ¶ 19); (Doc. 1-3, Incident Report at 1); (Doc. 61-3 at 124); (Doc. 61-10).

         Beginning at 5:36 AM, Degolia completed his booking paperwork, (Doc. 54, Booking Admin Pt. 2 at 5:36:33-5:44:02), and was photographed and fingerprinted, (Doc. 54, Booking Print Pt. 1 at 5:44:14-5:51:25), all without any altercation. Degolia was released that same day and is seen on surveillance video exiting the KC Detention center at 12:35 PM. (Doc. 54, Vestibule C20 at 12:35:23-27); (Doc. 61-7 at 108).

         Degolia suffered a black eye, (Doc. 1-5), and he alleges jaw injuries, a cracked molar, and emotional trauma, as well as some residual soreness from the restraint cuffs on the Safety Chair that lasted for a month after the incident. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 33, 41, 52-57); (Doc. 61-3 at 23, 45, 112). This lawsuit followed on December 14, 2017.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment under Rule 56 is appropriate only when the Court, viewing the record as a whole and in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, determines that there exists no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-24 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-50 (1986). “A genuine issue of material fact exists when, ‘there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party.'” White v. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc., 617 F.3d 472, 475-76 (6th Cir. 2010) (emphasis added) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249). When the issue is a “pure question of law, ” extraneous facts that do not bear on that question are “immaterial.” See, e.g., Chappell v. City of Cleveland, 585 F.3d 901, 909-914 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Scott, 550 U.S. at 381 n.8).

         “The summary judgment standard does not change simply because the parties presented cross-motions.” Profit Pet v. Arthur Dogswell, LLC, 603 F.3d 308, 311 (6th Cir. 2010). “[R]ather, a court must evaluate each party's motion on its own merits, taking care in each instance to draw all reasonable inferences against the party whose motion is under consideration.” Id. (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). “If the movant bears the burden of persuasion at trial on the issue contested”-whether it be a claim for relief or an affirmative defense-“the evidence in the movant's favor must be so powerful that no reasonable jury would be free to disbelieve it.” 11 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore's Federal Practice § 56.40(c) (Matthew Bender 3d ed. 2018) [hereinafter “Moore's”]; Arnett v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002); Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986).

         The Supreme Court, however, has “clarified the summary-judgment standard for excessive-force claims, rejecting the argument that the question of objective reasonableness is ‘a question of fact best reserved for a jury.'” Dunn v. Matatall, 549 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Scott, 550 U.S. at 381 n.8). “At the summary judgment stage . . . once [the court has] determined the relevant set of facts and drawn all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party to the extent supportable by the record . . . the reasonableness of [a defendant's] actions . . . is a pure question of law.” Id. (quoting Scott, 550 U.S. at 381 n.8).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Procedural Matters

         Before turning to the merits of the case, some housekeeping is required to frame the procedural posture of this matter.

         A. Degolia's Untimely Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

         The problem here is that Degolia's response in opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment was also captioned as a cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 62), and was filed nearly two weeks after the deadline for dispositive motions. (Doc. 60). The Clerk of Court noted the error in the docket and re-filed the same materials as Degolia's cross-motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 63). This, in turn, led to the host of motions now before the Court.

         Having considered the matter, the Court will grant Degolia's motion for leave to file an affidavit as a surreply to the motion to strike (Doc. 74), deny Defendants' motion to strike (Doc. 64), and grant Degolia's subsequent motion to extend the deadline to file a dispositive motion (Doc. 67).

         Therefore, Degolia's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 63) is timely and appropriately before the Court. This does not result in any prejudice to Defendants because Degolia moved for summary judgment only as to the issues of qualified immunity and the use of excessive force. These same issues were fully briefed by the parties on Defendants' motion for summary judgment and are “pure question[s] of law” when video footage establishes the relevant material facts. See, e.g., Scott, 550 U.S. at 381. Accordingly, the Court will view the issues of excessive force and qualified immunity as on cross-motions for summary judgment.

         B. Degolia's Amended Complaint

         On May 6, 2019, Degolia filed an Amended Complaint, alleging a “Monell-style municipal liability claim against the Kenton County Fiscal Court.” (Doc. 78, ¶ 85). Previously, at oral argument, Degolia's counsel had suggested they might amend the Complaint to add such a claim and the Court indicated that the amendment would be permitted. After further consideration, however, the Court concludes otherwise.

         The time period for amendments has passed, and thus “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)-(2). Although a court “should freely give leave [to amend a complaint] when justice so requires, ” it is within a district court's discretion to permit the amendment. Tucker v. Middleburg-Legacy Place, LLC, 539 F.3d 545, 551 (6th Cir. 2008). It may be appropriate to deny leave to amend in cases where there is “‘undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc.'” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962) (emphasis added)). At some point, a party's delay justifies denying leave to amend when the “delay” become “undue, ” “placing an unwarranted burden on the court, ” or “‘prejudicial,' placing an unfair burden on the opposing party.” Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, 410 F.3d 792, 806 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting Morse v. McWhorter, 290 F.3d 795, 800 (6th Cir. 2002)). “When amendment is sought at a late stage in the litigation, there is an increased burden to show justification for failing to move earlier.” Wade v. Knoxville Utils. Bd, 259 F.3d 452, 459 (6th Cir. 2001).

         Here, undue delay exists. Degolia has offered no explanation or justification for having waited a nearly a year and a half since the commencement of this action before amending his Complaint to add an explicit Monell claim. Degolia originally named Kenton County, Kenton County Fiscal Court, and the KC Detention Center, but asserted his claims against these entities under a respondeat superior theory. Discovery was then conducted, both parties moved for summary judgment, the parties briefed the liability of these entities, and oral argument was held. (Doc. 61-1 at 27-28; Doc. 63 at 20-21; Doc. 65 at 9-10). An amendment to the Complaint at this late in the proceedings would prejudice Defendants.

         Degolia, however, is not prejudiced by this result. As explained infra Part III, Degolia's Complaint effectively alleged a Monell claim by virtue of having sued the individual Defendants in their official capacity. Degolia has simply failed to develop his § 1983 claims against the named municipality and its subdivisions. But justice does not require another period of discovery and a second bite at the apple.

         Accordingly, the Amendment Complaint tendered to the Court (Doc. 78), will be stricken from the record.

         II. § 1983 CLAIMS (COUNTS I & II) - INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY

         Degolia brings Counts I and II of the Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and asserts that he was deprived of his federal constitutional right to be free from excessive force and cruel and unusual punishment. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 26-41).[11] In defense, Defendants assert that they are insulated by qualified immunity.

         A. Legal Framework

         1. Qualified Immunity

         “Once raised, it is the plaintiff's burden to show that the defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity.” Burgess v. Fischer, 735 F.3d 462, 472 (6th Cir. 2013). Qualified immunity does not apply if: (1) the facts, viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, “show the officer's conduct violated a constitutional right” and (2) “the right was clearly established . . . in light of the specific context of the case.” Scott, 550 U.S. at 377 (quoting Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001)). The sequence in which each step is addressed is discretionary. Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 236 (2009). But if either is not satisfied, qualified immunity will shield the officer from civil damages. Id.

         2. Excessive Force

         “An excessive-force claim may arise under the Fourth, Eighth, or Fourteenth Amendments depending on ‘whether the plaintiff was a free citizen, convicted prisoner, or fit in some gray area in between the two.'” Kulpa v. Cantea, 708 Fed.Appx. 846, 851 (6th Cir. 2017) (emphasis added) (quoting Burgess, 735 F.3d at 472). Although Degolia pled his claims of excessive force and cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, the parties agree that the Fourth Amendment provides the appropriate lens, (Doc. 62 at 16), and rightly so. Phelps v. Coy, 286 F.3d 295, 300-01 (6th Cir. 2002) (holding that the Eighth Amendment did not apply to claims of excessive force during the booking process). It follows then that Degolia's claim that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment is subsumed by his excessive force claims. See Hopper v. Plummer, 887 F.3d 744, 751-54 (6th Cir. 2018).

         “Fourth Amendment protections, including those against excessive force, ‘continue during booking' and at all times ‘prior to a probable-cause hearing.'” Hanson v. Madison Cty. Det. Ctr., 736 Fed.Appx. 521, 528 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting Aldini v. Johnson, 609 F.3d 858, 865, 867 (6th Cir. 2010)). When assessing excessive force claims, the standard applied is solely an objective one. Id. at 528 & n.5. That is, “a pretrial detainee must show only that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was objectively unreasonable.” Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015); Hopper, 887 F.3d at 752.[12]

         Whether a particular use of force was objectively reasonable “turns on the ‘facts and circumstances of each particular case.'” Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473 (quoting Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396 (1989)). Courts must view the circumstances “from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, ” and not with “the 20/20 vision of hindsight” due to the reality that “officers are often forced to make split-second judgments-in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving-about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” Graham, 490 U.S. at 396-97; Mullins v. Cyranek, 805 F.3d 760, 765-66 (6th Cir. 2015). In the context of a detainee in a government facility, courts “must also account for the . . . need to manage the facility” and, where appropriate, should defer to “policies and practices that in th[e] judgment of jail officials are needed to preserve internal order and discipline and to maintain institutional security.” Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473 (alteration in original). The analysis thus includes a “built-in measure of deference to the officer's on-the-spot judgment about the level of force necessary in light of the circumstances of the particular case.” Mullins, 805 F.3d at 766 (citations omitted). Therefore, the officer's “underlying intent or motivation, ” whether it be “good” or “evil, ” has no part in the analysis. Graham, 490 U.S. at 396-97; Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2472-73.

         Against this backdrop, the “totality of the circumstances” must be evaluated. Graham, 490 U.S. at 396 (quoting Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1985)). In the pre-trial context, a non-exhaustive list of relevant factors include: (1) “the relationship between the need for the use of force and the amount of force used”; (2) “the extent of the plaintiff's injury”; (3) “any effort made by the officer to temper or to limit the amount of force”; (4) “the severity of the security problem at issue”; (5) “the threat reasonably perceived by the officer”; and (6) “whether the plaintiff was actively resisting.” Kingsley, 135 S.Ct. at 2473 (emphasis added); Hanson, 736 Fed.Appx. at 529; see also Graham, 490 U.S. at 396 (noting that “the severity of the crime at issue” is a relevant factor).

         In the end, the litmus test is whether, on balance, an act of “‘gratuitous violence' has been inflicted, ” See Coley v. Lucas Cty., Ohio, 799 F.3d 530, 539 (6th Cir. 2015), so as to cross “the constitutional line” that lies beyond “common-law assault.” Hanson, 736 Fed.Appx. at 530.

         B. Analysis: The Deputies' Use of Force

         Because this case involves multiple uses of force, the reasonableness of the individual Defendants' actions must be analyzed “in chronological ‘segments.” See, e.g., Hanson, 736 Fed.Appx. at 529 (quoting Dickerson v. McClellan, 101 F.3d 1151, 1162 (6th Cir. 1996)); Morrison v. Bd. of Trs., 583 F.3d 394, 401 (6th Cir. 2009). Moreover, “[e]ach defendant's liability must be assessed individually based on [their] own actions.” Binay v. Bettendorf, 601 F.3d 640, 650 (6th Cir. 2010).

         This case involves the actions of Defendants Armstrong, Crouthers, and Branstutter, each with varying roles in four discrete uses of force: (1) the initial takedown and restraint in the booking area (including the use of a chokehold and closed-fist strikes immediately following the takedown); (2) the events immediately following in cell B2; (3) the use of the restraint chair; and (4) the extended use of the restraint chair for more than two hours.

         In evaluating the circumstances, “where, as here, there is ‘a videotape capturing the events in question,' the court must ‘view[] the facts in the light depicted by the videotape.'” Green v. Throckmorton, 681 F.3d 853, 859 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Scott, 550 U.S. at 378-81). At the summary judgment stage, Scott then “instructs [courts] to determine as a matter of law whether the events depicted on the video . . . show that the Officers' conduct was objectively reasonable.” E.g., Dunn, 549 F.3d at 353; Scott, 550 U.S. at 381 n.8 (“[T]he reasonableness of [the defendants'] actions . . . is a pure question of ...


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