Mann v. Yarnell, 06-2326.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Citation497 F.3d 822
Docket NumberNo. 06-2326.,06-2326.
PartiesTony L. MANN, Appellant, v. Phil YARNELL, Scott Umbarger, Mark Schindler, Chris Willett, City of Springfield, Appellees.
Decision Date14 August 2007
497 F.3d 822
Tony L. MANN, Appellant,
Phil YARNELL, Scott Umbarger, Mark Schindler, Chris Willett, City of Springfield, Appellees.
No. 06-2326.
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
Submitted: April 9, 2007.
Filed: August 14, 2007.

[497 F.3d 823]

Dana M. Altieri, Lee's Summit, MO, for appellant.

John W. Housley, Springfield, MO, for appellee.

Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Tony L. Mann brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the City of Springfield (the City), and four of its police officers, Phil Yarnell, Scott Umbarger, Mark Schindler, and Chris Willett, alleging that the officers used excessive force in effectuating his arrest and that the City provided the officers inadequate training, instruction, discipline, and supervision. Mann appeals from the district court's1 grant of summary judgment to the appellees. We affirm.


The facts relevant to this appeal are as follows.2 In the early evening of October

497 F.3d 824

4, 2001, Mann fired a shot at pursuing police officers and fled to his home. Once there, he took a shower to "come down" off a methamphetamine high, and went to sleep. Meanwhile, Mann's wife, who then lived with him, traveled to the Springfield Police Department and reported that she had been a victim of domestic abuse earlier in the day. She further stated that Mann was in an irrational and paranoid state, that he had been using methamphetamine for five continuous days, that he had slept only four hours during that period, that he both cooked methamphetamine and kept firearms and ammunition at his home, that he had frequently threatened suicide, and that he had stated that he would "shoot it out with police" and would "[g]o out in a blaze of glory with a gunfight with police" if they tried to arrest him. This information was relayed to the officers that were at Mann's house preparing to arrest him. Using a loudspeaker, the officers repeatedly urged Mann to exit the premises. Mann did not respond. The officers eventually fired tear gas into the house and, shortly thereafter, Mann came out clad in a towel wrapped around his waist.

Because, as set forth in the discussion below, Mann's version of events consists of unsubstantiated speculation, our recitation of the facts is drawn exclusively from the officers' deposition testimony and the events depicted on a video recording of the arrest made by Mann's neighbor. Mann himself has no recollection of the events that occurred subsequent to his first physical contact with police.

The officers testified that they ordered Mann to come under a fence, get down on his stomach, and put his hands behind his back. Although Mann moved to the designated location, he neither got down on his stomach nor placed his hands behind his back, causing the officers to believe that he was resisting arrest. Officers Schindler and Umbarger moved in to handcuff him. After Mann disregarded the repeated instructions to get on his stomach, Officer Willett had Rex, his canine, engage Mann's left leg at the calf in a bite and hold technique for roughly fifteen seconds while Schindler and Umbarger attempted to secure Mann in handcuffs. The officers testified that Mann struggled, slipped away from them, knocked the handcuffs out of Schindler's hands, and grabbed the barrel of Schindler's gun. They further testified that Mann rose to his feet in an attempt to escape, and that he continued to resist their attempts to handcuff him. Once Mann was on his feet, and while Schindler and Umbarger continued to try to forcibly cuff his hands behind his back, Officer Yarnell struck Mann five times, with short pauses between blows, in what Yarnell describes as a repeated application of a "brachial stun" technique.3 He repeated the technique until it had the desired effect of immobilizing the resisting Mann so that the other officers could more easily handcuff him. The officers eventually got Mann back onto the ground and secured in handcuffs. He was removed from the scene by ambulance and was treated for his injuries.

The district court, after considering the officers' testimony, the video, and pictures of Mann's injuries, concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact and that the officers were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. The

497 F.3d 825

court ruled as a matter of law that, for Mann's purposes, the contents of the video were unclear and the video lacked probative value because, if anything, it supported the officers' account of events. The district court held that the video did not generate a matter of genuine dispute concerning material facts. Accordingly, the court held that in light of the information the police knew about Mann at the time of his arrest, Mann failed to present adequate evidence to support a claim that the officers had used objectively unreasonable force. Regarding the City, the court granted its motion for summary judgment because Mann had not provided any evidence of an existing unconstitutional municipal policy attributable to a municipal policymaker.

On appeal, Mann contends that his injuries and the video recording create genuine issues of material fact that the district court erroneously disregarded. He alleges that the facts in dispute could support a finding that the officers had used excessive force and that deficiencies existed in the City's training and policies.

II. Discussion

We review a district court's grant of summary judgment de novo. Ferguson v. United States, 484 F.3d 1068, 1072 (8th Cir.2007) (citing Keller v. United States, 46 F.3d 851, 853 (8th Cir.1995)). "In order to survive a motion for summary judgment under § 1983, the plaintiff must raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether (1) the defendants acted under color of state law, and (2) the alleged wrongful conduct deprived the plaintiff of a constitutionally protected federal right." Cooksey v. Boyer, 289 F.3d 513, 515 (8th Cir.2002) (citations omitted). Summary judgment is appropriate in instances in which the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, presents no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. The nonmoving party may not rely on allegations or denials, but must demonstrate the existence of specific facts that create a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The nonmoving party's allegations must be supported by "sufficient probative evidence [that] would permit a finding in [his] favor on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy." Gregory...

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