Suit Against SF Cops for Shooting Remanded

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Ninth Circuit remanded a case Tuesday after the Supreme Court immunized police officers who shot a disturbed, knife-wielding woman.
     San Francisco police officers Kimberly Reynolds and Katherine Holder had entered the Conrad House, a group home for the mentally ill, in August 2008 after a social worker there called for help in bringing one of the residents, Teresa Sheehan, to a secure facility.
     Sheehan had a history of increasingly acute mental-health problems and had allegedly threatened the social worker with a knife when he tried to check on her because she had stopped taking her medication.
     When the responding police officers entered Sheehan’s room without a warrant, they found her angry and wielding a knife.
     Though they retreated and called for backup, Reynolds and Holder did not wait for other officers to arrive at the scene before re-entering Sheehan’s room with weapons drawn.
     They shot Sheehan, whom the social worker had described as “gravely disabled,” at least five times after she threatened them again with the knife.
     Sheehan survived the shootings but was indicted for assaulting police officers. Her trial resulted in a hung jury and a partial acquittal, after which she filed a federal civil rights action against the city and county of San Francisco, the officers, and their supervisors.
     U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled for the defendants on all counts, but the Ninth Circuit revived Sheehan’s civil-rights and excessive-force allegations, as well as Sheehan’s claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, last year.
     The U.S. Supreme Court partially reversed in May, however, saying that Reynolds and Holder have qualified immunity as to the injuries that Sheehan suffered.
     Looking at the case again Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit that “the District Court properly granted summary judgment to the defendants on Sheehan’s Fourth Amendment claims but, as explained in Parts III and IV of our previous opinion, erred by granting summary judgment to the defendants on Sheehan’s Americans with Disabilities Act and state law claims.”
     “We therefore affirm in part and vacate in part the judgment of the district court and remand to the district court for further proceedings,” the brief order states. “Each party shall bear its own costs on appeal.”

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