ATLANTA (CN) – The 11th Circuit upheld a deputy’s use of deadly force on a man who tried to drive off in the deputy’s cruiser while he was having a psychotic episode.
Deputy Jimmie Ray Slaton Jr. responded to a call from Dr. Robert Long, who claimed his son, Bryan, needed help. While Slaton was talking to Robert, he left his car door open and the keys in the ignition. Before the deputy could handcuff Bryan to take him to jail, Bryan jumped in the police car. Slaton threatened to shoot him if he didn’t get out, but Bryan ignored him and backed out of the driveway. Slaton shot him three times, killing him.
Even if the Longs could establish that the use of deadly force was excessive, the circuit ruled, the applicable law was not clearly established at the time. Slaton did not have fair notice that his actions would violate clear federal law. See ruling in Long v. Slaton.