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Carrier v. LT. Mcknight

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division

June 9, 2017

BRIAN CARRIER Williamson County #07-109737 TDCJ # 2122839
v.
LT. McKNIGHT, LT. WILLIAMS, EMT ALBE, EMT KENDRICK, LT. WHELESS, and WILLIAMSON COUNTY JAIL

          THE HONORABLE LEE YEAKEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MARK LANE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The Magistrate Judge submits this Report and Recommendation to the District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b) and Rule 1(f) of Appendix C of the Local Court Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges.

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's complaint [#1], Plaintiff's more definite statement [#24-25], Motions to Dismiss filed by Defendant Albe [#29], Defendant Kendrick [#30], Defendant McKnight [#31], Defendant Williams [#32], Defendant Wheless [#33], which were converted to a motion for summary judgment, Defendants' Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment [#42], and Plaintiff's response thereto [#43]. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         At the time he filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff was confined in the Williamson County Jail. Plaintiff alleges he was arrested on May 15, 2016, and brought to the Williamson County Jail. Plaintiff indicates he got into a verbal confrontation with Lt. McKnight, who had him tased repeatedly over 15 times in a three-day period. Plaintiff claims he was “shot up” repeatedly by medical staff for a three-day period while he was strapped to the emergency restraint chair in the “V.C. cell.” Plaintiff contends he was put into a coma for three days as a result. He claims he passed out at the jail and woke up in the St. David's Medical Center in Round Rock.

         Plaintiff sues the Williamson County Jail, Lt. McKnight, Lt. Williams, EMT Albe, EMT Kendrick, and Lt. Wheless, who was previously identified as Lt. Willis. He seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

         After consideration of Plaintiff's complaint, he was ordered to file a more definite statement specifying what acts each defendant did to violate his constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges Lt. McKnight and Lt. Williams ordered other officers to tase him and strap him to a chair. Plaintiff alleges EMT Albe injected him with a sedative against his will and EMT Kendrick did not listen to Plaintiff's screams to not shoot him up with anything and failed to tend to Plaintiff when he had seizures. Plaintiff alleges Lt. Wheless gave the orders to the EMT's to shoot him up.

         Defendants McKnight, Williams, Albe, Kendrick, and Wheless filed motions to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. The Court converted the motions to a motion for summary judgment and allowed the parties the opportunity to file summary judgment evidence.

         Defendants provide the Court with video evidence regarding the events in question. Defendants point out the defendants did not give any shots to Plaintiff and did not direct or order any injections or sedation of Plaintiff. Rather, a paramedic from the City of Georgetown Fire Department gave the injection to sedate Plaintiff on May 17, 2016, in order to transport Plaintiff to the hospital emergency room. Moreover, the defendants assert involuntary medication was necessary and in Plaintiff's interest.

         In addition, Defendants Williams and Albe deny they participated in any of the taserings or alleged injections. According to Defendants, Williams and Albe were not present during any of the events and time periods alleged by Plaintiff. Defendant Wheless indicates he was only present on May 17, 2016, when Plaintiff was given an injection by a paramedic working for the City of Georgetown EMS for sedation prior to Plaintiff's transport to the hospital.

         Defendants admit Plaintiff was tasered on two different occasions by other officers when Defendant McKnight was present. They assert, on each occasion, the tasering was a necessary and reasonable use of force due to Plaintiff's violent, aggressive and non-compliant actions that threatened officer safety or Plaintiff's own safety. Defendants explain Plaintiff flooded his cell on May 16, 2016. Plaintiff was tasered on this date when he threatened officers who needed him to exit the cell and was aggressive and non-compliant with officers' orders to move back from the door.

         Defendants indicate Plaintiff was tasered again on May 17, 2016, when Defendant McKnight and Kendrick were present. On this occasion, Defendants assert Plaintiff was in another agitated mental state, striking and banging the cell door of Violent Cell-1, making a great deal of loud noise, and refusing to comply with instructions. When officers opened the cell door to enter and subdue him for placement in an emergency restraint chair, Plaintiff immediately ran out of the cell and into the open room of the booking area. Defendants indicate Plaintiff was tasered while going to the floor with several officers on the floor with him as he actively and physically resisted being restrained. Defendants assert, although McKnight and Kendrick were present at the time of the tasering, the shooting of the taser gun was by another officer.

         DISCUSSION ...


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