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Qualified Immunity Denial to Officer Reversed in Excessive Force Case
In Jean-Baptiste v. Gutierrez, No. 10-11129, an action against an officer for using deadly force against plaintiff, an armed suspect who was lying in wait after having fled from the vicinity of an armed burglary and robbery, the court reversed the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity where defendant reasonably perceived the situation as an ambush that required the use of deadly force.
As the court wrote: "This appeal presents the issue whether a police officer is entitled to qualified immunity for using deadly force against an armed suspect who was lying in wait after having fled from the vicinity of an armed burglary and robbery. Jose Gutierrez, an officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department, shot Erlis Jean-Baptiste repeatedly after Officer Gutierrez encountered Jean-Baptiste following a high-speed car chase and a later chase by foot."