from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 0:15-cv-62071-BB
MARCUS, FAY, and HULL, Circuit Judges.
MARCUS, Circuit Judge:
2014, Livingston Manners was arrested by City of Hollywood
police officers. An altercation ensued. Manners filed suit in
federal court regarding the incident and now appeals the
district court's grant of summary judgment against his
claims -- federal civil rights claims for use of excessive
force and for malicious prosecution as well as a companion
state common-law claim for false arrest. Because the officers
had probable cause to arrest Manners and did not violate
clearly established constitutional law during his arrest, the
officers were entitled to qualified immunity from the civil
rights claims. A finding of probable cause also bars a claim
for false arrest. Accordingly, we affirm.
to three in the morning on June 24, 2014, Livingston Manners
was sitting in his car on the side of Plunkett Street, a
residential street in the City of Hollywood, Florida
("the City"), before heading to work. Ronald
Cannella, a City of Hollywood police officer, was on patrol
"in reference to recent crimes of theft in the area,
" and he drove past Manners. Soon after Cannella drove
by, Manners pulled out and turned south on 26th Avenue. There
is a dispute about what happened next. Cannella said he saw
-- through his rearview mirror -- that Manners ran a stop
sign. Manners claimed that he came to a complete stop.
made a U-turn and followed Manners down 26th Avenue. At some
point between Plunkett Street and Pembroke Road, a distance
of some four or five blocks, Cannella activated his emergency
lights and also ran his sirens, although there is some
dispute about when exactly this happened. Manners admitted
that, some three blocks past Plunkett Street, he saw Officer
Cannella behind him and that the officer's lights and
sirens were on. Cannella said that he "activated [his]
emergency lights and sirens, as [he] hit the intersection of
Pembroke Road and 26th Avenue" and that he was directly
behind Manners's vehicle at that intersection.
record, however, and taking the evidence in a light most
favorable to the plaintiff, it is undisputed that Manners did
not stop when he saw Cannella behind him, or when he saw
Cannella's lights and sirens activated. Manners knew that
the vehicle was a police car, that a police officer was
instructing him to stop, and that the lights and sirens meant
he was required to stop his car. Instead of stopping, Manners
continued along 26th Avenue, through a traffic light at
Pembroke Road, and stopped at a gas station across the
intersection. We know this because Manners has said
repeatedly, and explicitly, that he did not stop when
directed to do so. In a sworn deposition, Manners offered the
Q: Why did you not stop?
[Manners]: Because it was dark. It was very dark.
Q: And you had no doubt that it was police officer pulling
you over, correct?
A: Yes, ma'am. That's why I slowed down. Manners has
also clearly described why he chose not to stop immediately
--because he was afraid of being hit or killed by a police
Q: So when an officer puts his lights and sirens on to you
that means slow down?
A: No. That means stop, but in this particular -- in this
particular instance -- ma'am, I ran into situations
before. . . . I've ran into situations before where
I've got punched or hit by a police officer because of my
[stature]. I'm big and black.
testimony at his criminal trial in Broward County, Manners
offered the following answers:
Q: Now, did you pull over upon seeing the flashing lights?
[Manners]: No, I d[id] not.
Q: Why didn't you pull over immediately?
A: It was late at night, sir . . . . I was in fear for my
offers that because he was afraid, he continued driving until
he reached a well-lit gas station where video surveillance
was available. By Manners's own account, the distance he
intentionally travelled after seeing the officer behind him
with lights and sirens, but before coming to a stop, was
about three blocks, one-tenth of a mile, or 176 yards. He
continued to drive after being directed to stop for 14.4
seconds, or, as he said at another occasion in his
deposition, for "[a]bout two minutes, two minutes at the
gas station, Cannella stopped behind Manners and approached
the driver's side of Manners's car. Cannella asked
for Manners's driver's license, which Manners
provided. A silent video recording of the entire incident at
the gas station was taken from surveillance cameras. Cannella
can be seen at Manners's driver's side door, and
while Cannella looked in the backseat, Manners stepped out of
the vehicle. Cannella and Manners spoke, facing one another,
for several seconds. There is no dispute that Cannella
informed Manners he was under arrest. Manners knew this; in
fact, Manners said he asked Cannella to hurry up so that he
could get to work and Cannella said "[y]ou're going
to jail." According to Cannella, he repeatedly directed
Manners to get back into his car, but Manners refused to do
so. Cannella then placed Manners under arrest. Cannella said:
"I must have told him at least two to three times [to
remain seated in his vehicle] and he said, no, every
time." Manners, on the other hand, denied that Cannella
ever directed him to stay in the car.
review of the video recording clearly establishes that a
physical struggle ensued when Cannella attempted to place
Manners under arrest. Manners's efforts to thwart the
arrest are equally evident from the video. The first attempt
to handcuff Manners occurred outside the vehicle -- Cannella
apparently grabbed Manners's wrist as Manners either sat
or fell back into his car. A struggle ensued in the car;
Cannella leaned or fell on top of Manners, and he tried to
pull Manners out of the vehicle. The parties disagree about
what happened inside the car. Manners conceded that he pulled
back, asked why he was under arrest, and said Cannella
punched him three times while lying on top of him. Cannella,
in turn said Manners screamed at him and struck him
(Cannella) three to four times.
the details of an indiscernible struggle occurred inside the
car, the video recording shows that Cannella pulled Manners
out of the car. Cannella flipped Manners onto the ground and
went on top of him. Manners, in turn, is seen shoving at
Cannella, and Cannella is seen punching Manners in the head.
Cannella then flipped Manners onto his stomach and attempted
to bring Manners's arms together behind his back,
evidently attempting to handcuff Manners. Manners is seen
pulling his arms away, flailing, and then rolling onto his
back. Manners is also seen bringing his leg up and onto
Cannella's upper back, and grabbing and holding
Cannella's wrists for an extended period.
Sabillon arrived on the scene as backup; she said it
"looked like [Cannella] was trying to take Livingston
Manners into custody, but he couldn't because of the
constant power struggle between the both of them with their
hands." On the video recording, Sabillon is seen
deploying her taser on Manners's stomach. Manners flailed
on the ground, and both Cannella and Sabillon are seen
attempting to handcuff him for about a minute, deploying one
or both of their tasers. Eventually, Sabillon is seen lying
across Manners, while Cannella placed Manners in handcuffs.
More officers arrived, and four or five of them surrounded
Manners and ...