JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- A court of appeals has overturned the decision that originally denied a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office deputy qualified immunity.
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The United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit reversed the district's court order and granted Officer Ryan Black qualified immunity, according to a news release from the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 5-30.
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The qualified immunity was granted after a lawsuit was filed in Federal Court by Joann Cooper. The reversal decision was filed Monday, the release said.
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The FOP, Lodge 5-30 earlier this year appealed the ruling. The original ruling came down from Judge Harvey Schlessinger, Middle District of Florida. Judge Schlessinger granted all the officers involved in the shooting immunity except for Deputy Black.
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In their reversal, the Appellate Court said, "We agree deadly force against the armed robber was appropriate, but we cannot find a single case in this circuit or from the Supreme Court that clearly established that a large number of shots fired makes a reasonable use of deadly force unreasonable. In fact, this court recently held that '[a] police officer is entitled to continue his use of force until a suspect thought to be fully armed is "fully secured."'"
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According to the release, the ruling also stated, "we reverse the district's order ... and remand this case with directions that Officer Black be granted qualified immunity and dismissed from this cause with prejudice."
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Paul Daragjati, General Counsel for the FOP, Lodge 5-30, said "This is not only a good decision for Ryan Black, but a good decision for every police officer in Florida. The Appellate Court recognized the difficulties encountered by officers when faced with the decision to use deadly force, and held that when an officer does not violate clearly established law, the courts shouldn't be second guessing their decision."
First Coast News