Walker & Walker v Wilmington

Dealing with mentally ill persons is part of a police officer's job. These are encounters that occur frequently in the course of one's duty.


Kane went to Connections and interviewed Hufford. Hufford stated that when the officers attempted to handcuff Walker he resisted and put his hands under his body. Hufford did not say if there were any other witnesses or any other information.

Officers Gordon and Officer Buhrmann completed the necessary reports and Kane reviewed them. He concluded the use of force was within guidelines and not excessive. During the course of time Kane's report was lost.

On August 9, 2005, Walker underwent brain surgery to relieve a subdural hematoma. The plaintiffs contend the hematoma occurred on July 11th, 2005.

In subsequent litigation the Walkers agreed that the city's policies and procedures were sound, and that the city enforced its policies with having each use of force well documented. Furthermore the city sanctioned officers when the force was excessive.

However, the Walkers believed that the police department failed to investigate incidents properly. In their opinion with the failure to investigate, officers believed they were free to commit such offenses.

They believed that Kane's investigative report was missing due to Kane's failure to properly investigate the excessive force used by officers in this incident. A police expert D.P. Blaricom stated that the investigation failed to meet a reasonable standard of care in that Kane failed to properly investigate the use of force because his report could not be located. The city admitted that there had been thousands of reports of excessive force against officers. The city could only cite two cases in which officers were punished.

The court ruled that Sergeant Kane's investigation was adequate. He interviewed the parties involved took notes and based upon the findings the officers use of force not excessive.

The plaintiffs claimed a failure to train officers in dealing with mentally ill persons and the use of force. All officers involved recalled having been trained in that subject at the police academy. Each of the officers testified that they had dealt with and transported other mentally ill persons from hundreds of times to twenty times with only there only being three persons who resisted the transport. The training occurred at the police academy.

Dealing with mentally ill persons is part of a police officer's job. These are encounters that occur frequently in the course of one's duty. As with any arrest there will be occasions in which resistance will occur. In this case the officers reacted reasonably. The court reviewed the facts and circumstances and agreed that their course of action was appropriate. The officers and city were allowed summary judgment.



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