Noelle Roselyn Aipperspach, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Mahir S. Al-Hakim, deceased, Plaintiff - Appellant,
Patrick McInerney, in his official capacity as Board President, Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, et al, Defendants - Appellees
Submitted April 14, 2014.
Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City.
For Noelle Roselyn Aipperspach, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Mahir S. Al-Hakim, deceased, Plaintiff - Appellant: Robert C. Sullivan, SULLIVAN & MORGAN, Kansas City, MO.
For Patrick McInerney, in his official capacity as Board President, Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Alvin Brooks, in his official capacity as Board Vice-President, Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Angela Wasson-Hunt, in her official capacity as Treasurer, Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Lisa Pelofsky, in her official capacity as a Member of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Sly James, in his official capacity as Mayor, Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Robbie McLaughlan, individually, and in his official capacity as a police officer, Defendants - Appellees: Diane Chirnside, Assistant Attorney General, P. Benjamin Cox, Assistant Attorney General, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Kansas City, MO.
For City of Riverside, Missouri, Gregory Mills, in his official capacity as Chief of Police, Riverside Missouri Department of Public Safety, Trevor Ballard, individually, and in his official capacity as a police officer, Matthew Westrich, individually, and in his official capacity as a police officer, Defendants - Appellees: Steven F. Coronado, Christopher Lee Heigele, CORONADO & KATZ, Kansas City, MO.
Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
LOKEN, Circuit Judge.
Surrounded by police officers from multiple jurisdictions in a wooded ravine in Riverside, Missouri, Mahir S. Al-Hakim was fatally shot by several officers when he refused repeated demands to drop the gun he was holding, and waved the gun in the direction of many officers after losing his balance. Al-Hakim's sister, Noelle Aipperspach, the personal representative of his estate, brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action asserting official and individual capacity Fourth Amendment excessive force claims against multiple law enforcement officers and agencies. The district court granted
separate summary judgment motions filed by the City of Riverside, its police chief, Gregory Mills, and police officers Trevor Ballard and Matthew Westrich; and by the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners and Kansas City Police Officer Robbie McLaughlan. Aipperspach appeals. Reviewing the grant of summary judgment de novo, we affirm.
This tragic incident began when William Hart called the Riverside Police Department on March 18, 2010, reporting that a friend, Al-Hakim, refused to leave Hart's apartment. Detective Billy Aaron and Captain Michael Costanzo were dispatched to Hart's apartment. Hart informed them that Al-Hakim had come to borrow money, had left the apartment, and was headed into a nearby wooded area. After speaking with Hart, Aaron and Costanzo were told by police dispatch that there might be an unspecified warrant for Al-Hakim's arrest. They began looking for Al-Hakim in the woods behind Hart's apartment.
Riverside Police Sergeant Dennis Jones heard the police radio call and joined the search. Jones found Al-Hakim sitting at the bottom of a ravine. Jones identified himself and asked Al-Hakim to come up and talk. Al-Hakim refused and produced what appeared to Jones to be a black handgun but was in fact a Daisy 008 air pistol capable of firing steel BBs or lead pellets. Sergeant Jones drew his weapon and yelled to Al-Hakim to drop the gun. Hearing that command, Detective Aaron went down the hill to stand next to Jones, and Captain Costanzo radioed for assistance. Additional officers from Riverside and neighboring police departments responded to Costanzo's call for officer assistance. In depositions, each officer who observed Al-Hakim in the ravine testified that he ...