183 F.3d 775 (8th Cir. 1999), 98-2612, McCaslin v. Wilkins

Docket Nº:98-2612
Citation:183 F.3d 775
Party Name:RAY MCCASLIN; PAULETTA CHILDRESS, AS CO-ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ESTATE OF KENDALL RAY MCCASLIN, DECEASED, APPELLEES, v. CHAD WILKINS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS ALMA POLICE OFFICER, APPELLANT, RUSSELL WHITE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS POLICE CHIEF, CITY OF ALMA, DEFENDANT, CITY OF ALMA, ARKANSAS, APPELLANT.
Case Date:March 12, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 775

183 F.3d 775 (8th Cir. 1999)

RAY MCCASLIN; PAULETTA CHILDRESS, AS CO-ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ESTATE OF KENDALL RAY MCCASLIN, DECEASED, APPELLEES,

v.

CHAD WILKINS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS ALMA POLICE OFFICER, APPELLANT, RUSSELL WHITE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS POLICE CHIEF, CITY OF ALMA, DEFENDANT, CITY OF ALMA, ARKANSAS, APPELLANT.

No. 98-2612

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 12, 1999

July 07, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

Page 776

Before Richard S. Arnold and Hansen, Circuit Judges, and PERRY,1 District Judge.

Hansen, Circuit Judge.

Ray McCaslin and Pauletta Childress are the parents of the late Kendall Ray McCaslin. Kendall was shot and killed after a high-speed police chase near Alma, Arkansas. McCaslin's parents, as co-administrators of Kendall McCaslin's estate, brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Alma Police Officer Chad Wilkins, Alma Police Chief Russell White, and the City of Alma. McCaslin's parents allege that Officer Wilkins used deadly force in violation of their son's rights under the

Page 777

Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. McCaslin's parents also allege supplemental state law claims for wrongful death, negligence, and the tort of outrage. The defendants moved for summary judgment on each claim. The district court2 dismissed the claims against the police officers in their official capacities and granted qualified immunity to Chief White. The district court denied summary judgment on Officer Wilkins' request for qualified immunity, thereby allowing the suit to proceed against the City of Alma and Officer Wilkins in his individual capacity. Officer Wilkins and the City of Alma appeal. For the reasons explained below, we affirm those portions of the district court's order over which we have jurisdiction.

I.

Kendall McCaslin had been drinking on November 23, 1996. While McCaslin was driving his father's pickup truck that evening, Officer Wilkins observed McCaslin swerve across the centerline of U.S. Highway 71. Officer Wilkins activated his emergency lights and pursued McCaslin who refused to pull off the road. Additional officers joined in the chase, which occasionally exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour. The officers attempted to stop McCaslin's vehicle several times, but each time McCaslin resisted the officers' efforts and evaded capture. Crawford County Deputy Sheriff Daymon Blount eventually took the lead in the chase and attempted to box in McCaslin behind a semi-tractor. McCaslin's truck collided with Deputy Blount's squad car, causing both vehicles to slide into the median. After the cars came to a rest, Deputy Blount ordered McCaslin to exit the truck but McCaslin refused to comply. Another deputy tried to physically remove McCaslin, but McCaslin placed the truck in gear and drove away. Deputy Blount fired several shots in an unsuccessful attempt to flatten McCaslin's tires.

Officer Wilkins and other police officials resumed the chase. McCaslin eventually swerved off the road, sliding over an...

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