CA10: Causing a handcuffed unseatbelted arrestee to be bounced around the back seat while driving fast and recklessly states an excessive force claim; no QI

“McCowan based his excessive-force claim on his assertion that Officer Moralez placed McCowan in the back seat of a patrol car, handcuffed behind his back and unrestrained by a seatbelt, and then drove recklessly to the police station, knowing his driving was violently tossing McCowan back and forth across the backseat. This rough ride, McCowan contends, injured his shoulders, after McCowan had advised the officer before the trip to the station that he had a previous shoulder injury. [¶] As to this claim, it was clearly established at the time of these events that an officer’s gratuitous use of excessive force against a fully compliant, restrained, and non-threatening misdemeanant arrestee is unreasonable—and, therefore, violates the Fourth Amendment. Thus, we agree with the district court that Officer Moralez is not entitled to qualified immunity from McCowan’s excessive-force claim.” McCowan v. Morales, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38816 (10th Cir. Dec. 27, 2019).

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