Police Misconduct, Wrongful Death (Robert Long v. Slaton)

Robert Long, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Brian Long v. Jimmie Ray Slaton

In the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Judge Inga Johnson, US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit No. 06-1443, 508 F.3d 576 (11th Cir. 2007), Supreme Court of the United States 556 U.S. 49 (2009)

Dr. Long went to the Probate Court to have his son Brian committed because of a psychotic episode, but there were no available beds. The next day Dr. Long called the Sheriff’s Department to seek help with his son. Deputy Slaton appeared at the Long lakehouse, The deputy attempted to put hand cuffs on Brian. Brian ran to the police cruiser and jumped into the driver’s seat and backed the car out of the yard when deputy Slaton shot three times, hitting Brian once in the torso, killing him. A §1983 action was filed. The Defendants moved to dismiss based upon qualified immunity. Trial Judge Inga Johnson denied the motion, The Eleventh Circuit reversed her decision. The Supreme Court of the U.S. denied certiorari. No discovery was ever permitted in the case to determine whose marijuana cigarette had been left in the ash tray of the deputy’s cruiser.