United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division
AVID PROCTOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendant's Special Report
(Doc. # 27), which the court has converted to a motion for
summary judgment (Doc. # 29), and Defendant's Motion for
Leave to Engage in Limited Discovery (Doc. # 30). The motion
for summary judgment has been fully briefed and is under
submission. (Docs. # 31, 34).
Factual and Procedural Background
facts set out in this opinion are gleaned from the
parties' submissions of facts claimed to be disputed or
undisputed and the court's own examination of the
evidentiary record, including the sworn averments in
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. All reasonable doubts
about the facts have been resolved in favor of the nonmoving
party. See Info Sys. & Networks Corp. v. City of
Atlanta, 281 F.3d 1220, 1224 (11th Cir. 2002). These are
the “facts” for summary judgment purposes only.
They may not be the actual facts that could be established
through live testimony at trial. See Cox v. Adm'r
U.S. Steel & Carnegie Pension Fund, 17 F.3d 1386,
1400 (11th Cir. 1994).
the Rule 56 record contains video footage from two dash
cameras in the patrol cars used by Defendant, then a patrol
officer with the City of Russellville Police Department, and
Brian Shackelford, a lieutenant with the Russellville Police
Department. Where video evidence is available and obviously
contradicts Plaintiff's version of the facts, the court
must accept the video's depiction instead of
Plaintiff's subjective account. Pourmoghani-Esfahani
v. Gee, 625 F.3d 1313, 1315 (11th Cir. 2010). To be
sure, the dash camera videos in the Rule 56 record do not
offer an uninterrupted view of Plaintiff's arrest and
detainment. Indeed, the videos do not show when officers
tasered Plaintiff or other interactions between the officers
and Plaintiff for which recorded audio is available. And, the
video clips submitted by Defendant are not a continuous
record of Defendant's dash camera footage from October
26, 2013. Nevertheless, as discussed below, the
video evidence in the Rule 56 record definitively contradicts
vital allegations in the Amended Complaint.
midnight on October 26, 2013, Defendant observed a vehicle
driving the wrong way on Highway 43. (Doc. # 27-1 at 2-3).
The vehicle then made an illegal U-turn. (Id. at 3).
Defendant turned on his siren and chased the vehicle onto
South Washington Avenue in Russellville. (Id.).
Then, the vehicle lost control and crashed, rolling several
times. (Id.). When Defendant arrived at the scene of
the accident, downed power lines blocked the road. (Doc. #
28, Miller Dash Cam Video, at 01:03:35). The vehicle lay
upside down off the road. (Id. at 01:04:06). As he
observed the accident, Defendant asked a dispatcher to send
an ambulance to the scene. (Id. at 01:03:54).
Defendant parked his patrol car by the vehicle, a man --
identified as Plaintiff by Defendant -- fled from the vehicle
on foot. (Id. at 01:04:06-01:04:08; Doc. # 27-1 at
4). Defendant pursued Plaintiff across a field. (Doc. # 27-1
at 4). Shackelford observed Plaintiff cross Gaines Street as
he tried to cut off Plaintiff's escape route with his
patrol vehicle. (Doc. # 27-2 at 2-3; Doc. # 28, Shackelford
Dash Cam Video, at 00:11:29-00:11:30). Defendant and
Shackelford both continued to chase Plaintiff. (Doc. # 27-2
at 3). When the chase ended, Shackelford used a taser to help
subdue Plaintiff. (Id.). Defendant observed that
Plaintiff showed signs of intoxication. (Doc. # 27-1 at 16).
“Littleton had a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage
coming from his person. He had a lot of trouble keeping his
balance and fell to his knees at one point. Littleton was
slurring his speech so heavily that I could barely understand
what he was saying.” (Id.).
officers handcuffed Plaintiff and moved him to
Shackelford's patrol vehicle. (Id. at 6). They
placed Plaintiff in Shackelford's patrol vehicle until an
ambulance arrived at the scene. (Id.). (See
also Doc. # 28, Shackelford Dash Cam Video, at 00:20:45)
(showing Plaintiff lying down in Shackelford's patrol
vehicle). During an interview, Plaintiff admitted to having
used cocaine before the accident. (Doc. # 27-1 at 6).
Plaintiff also told Defendant that he was suffering from back
and neck pain. (Doc. # 12-1 at 4). When medical personnel
arrived at the scene, Defendant retrieved his patrol vehicle
and drove over to Shackelford's patrol vehicle. (Doc. #
27-1 at 6). (See also Doc. # 28, Miller Dash Cam
Video, at 01:15:20-01:16-05) (video of Defendant driving away
from the scene of the accident). The medical personnel
removed the taser's prongs from Plaintiff's skin.
(Doc. # 27-1 at 6).
placed Plaintiff inside of his patrol vehicle. (Doc. # 28,
Miller Dash Cam Video, at 01:21:05-01:21:10). As Defendant
departed the scene, he told a dispatcher that he was
“en route to the ER.” (Id. at
01:22:18-01:22:19). He drove from Gaines Street to
Russellville Hospital and a video recording of that entire
drive is in the Rule 56 record. (Id. at
01:22:18-01:27:00). The video shows that Defendant travelled
to Russellville Hospital without stopping at any police
station. (See id.). Defendant helped Plaintiff exit
the vehicle (id. at 01:28:00-01:28:10) and walked
him into Russellville Hospital. (Id. at 01:29:00).
Defendant informed hospital personnel that Plaintiff needed
to be checked out, that he was suspected of driving while
impaired, that he had totaled his vehicle, and that Defendant
wanted blood tests to be performed. (Id. at
to a Russellville Police Department arrest report, Plaintiff
was arrested by Defendant at 12:22 a.m. on October 26, 2013.
(Doc. # 27-1 at 20-21). Russellville's dispatch records
indicate that Defendant began travelling to the police
department at 2:53 a.m. (Id. at 27). Defendant did
not book Plaintiff until 3:34 a.m. that day. (Id. at
an initial review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the
court identified two plausibly pled claims:
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant acted with deliberate
indifference by denying him access to medical attention for
the serious medical conditions he suffered after his
automobile accident on October 26, 2013. Specifically,
Defendant failed to transport Plaintiff to a hospital despite
his complaints of back and neck pain.
Plaintiff was taken to a jail and held there for two to three
hours until he lost consciousness. At that point, Plaintiff