Rokusek v. Jansen, 080818 FED8, 17-3203

Docket Nº:17-3203
Opinion Judge:GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Troy Rokusek Plaintiff- Appellee v. Cody Jansen, individually Defendant-Appellant
Judge Panel:Before LOKEN, GRUENDER, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 08, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Troy Rokusek Plaintiff- Appellee


Cody Jansen, individually Defendant-Appellant

No. 17-3203

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 8, 2018

Submitted: June 15, 2018

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Sioux Falls

Before LOKEN, GRUENDER, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.

GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.

South Dakota State Trooper Cody Jansen appeals the district court's1 denial of summary judgment on Troy Rokusek's claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court determined that Trooper Jansen was not entitled to qualified immunity because the evidence, construed in Rokusek's favor, showed that Jansen violated his clearly established right to be free from excessive force. We affirm.

On the night of April 14, 2015, Jansen arrested Rokusek for driving while impaired and transported him to a garage at the courthouse in Clay County, South Dakota. Once there, Jansen removed the handcuffs from Rokusek, who consented to having his blood drawn. Though a medical technician was in the garage to perform the blood draw, Rokusek preferred a more sanitary environment and withdrew his consent. Jansen ordered Rokusek to stand so that he could handcuff him again before obtaining a warrant to draw blood. Despite Jansen's three requests, Rokusek refused to comply. Jansen, who was 6'4" and weighed at least 180 pounds at the time of the incident, pulled Rokusek, who was 5'6" and weighed 135 pounds, to a standing position. He then placed him in a "double-chicken-wing hold" by putting his arms around Rokusek's arms and interlocking them behind Rokusek's back. As is evident from a video recording of the incident, the hold immobilized the much smaller Rokusek. The two remained in this position until Jansen suddenly threw Rokusek face-first to the ground. Because his arms were immobilized, Rokusek was unable to brace his fall and lost two teeth.

We review de novo the district court's denial of qualified immunity on summary judgment, viewing the record in the light most favorable to Rokusek and drawing all reasonable inferences in his favor. See Shannon v. Koehler, 616 F.3d 855, 861-62 (8th Cir. 2010). To...

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