November 7, 2013 4th Circuit published opinion

Cooper v Sheehan

Cooper was shot by sheriff’s deputies who responded to a report of a disturbance at his home. He sued alleging violation of his constitutional rights. The deputies moved for judgment based on qualified immunity which the district court denied. The panel affirmed. It fist held that it had jurisdiction as the deputies accepted Cooper’s version of events and argued for judgment on legal grounds. However, the panel held that under the facts, shooting Cooper was unreasonable as the deputies did not identify themselves even when asked to do so by Cooper, Cooper’s holding of  a shotgun pointed to the ground did not justify shooting him and there were no other facts which would give rise to objective justification to shoot. The panel also held that cooper’s state law claims should proceed as the shooting was objectively unreasonable.

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