A sheriff's deputy in South Dakota, accused of using excessive force in shooting and killing a young man, is not summarily protected from suit by qualified immunity, the Eighth Circuit held on Monday.
Christopher Capps, a 22-year-old member of the Lakota Sioux tribe, was shot and killed by Deputy David Olson in 2010. When Capps' parents sued, Olson argued that he was protected by qualified immunity. The facts alleged put that into question, the court found. Olson's alleged use of excessive force would have violated Capps' constitutional rights and prevented Olson from being covered by qualified immunity. Thus, the factual dispute must be determined at trial.