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Riddle v. Riepe

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 9, 2017

Darryl L. Riddle Plaintiff- Appellant
v.
Sergeant Timothy Riepe; Officer Richard Robinson, #4854; Officer John Doe; Alvin Brooks, in his official and individual capacities; Michael Rader, in his official and individual capacities; Angela Wasson-Hunt, in her official and individual capacities Defendants - Appellees David Kenner, in his official and individual capacities Defendant Sylvester "Sly" James, in his official and individual capacities; Darryl Forte, in his official and individual capacities Defendants - Appellees

          Submitted: April 6, 2017

         Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City

          Before GRUENDER, MURPHY, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

          KELLY, Circuit Judge.

         Darryl Riddle was arrested and charged with hindering, obstructing, resisting, or otherwise interfering with Kansas City police officers in violation of Kansas City Ordinance § 50-44(a). Riddle brought suit against the officers who arrested and charged him, as well as against other Kansas City police officials, stating claims for, inter alia, malicious prosecution, fabrication of evidence, and conspiracy. The district court[1] granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and Riddle appeals. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

         I. Background

         The incident at issue occurred on October 12, 2013, and was captured in substantial part by the officers' dashboard video camera (dashcam). That evening, Kansas City Police Officer Richard Robinson attempted to conduct a traffic stop of Riddle's cousin, Jereal McKinney. Instead of immediately pulling over, McKinney drove to Riddle's house, parked in the driveway, and got out of his car. Robinson approached McKinney on the passenger side of McKinney's vehicle and took him to the ground. Seeing the police lights, Riddle, Riddle's aunt, and one or two other cousins exited the house. Riddle stood about ten feet from Robinson and McKinney and watched as Robinson handcuffed McKinney, walked him to his patrol car, and questioned him.

          Officer Kyle Oldham arrived in a separate police car, exited his vehicle, and approached the scene. Riddle testified that he did not see Oldham, but he felt someone touch his left pants pocket. Then, Riddle stepped back from Oldham, brought his hands out from behind his back, and said, "Stop touching me." Oldham replied, "I'm going to pat you down" or "I'm trying to pat you down, " and reached again for Riddle's pocket. Oldham tried to grab Riddle's left arm, but Riddle pulled it away. Riddle stated, "I'm at home" or "This is my house, " and pulled away from Oldham once more. Oldham explained, "You're out here, so I have to pat you down; make sure you have nothing on you." Riddle continued to step back from Oldham.

         At that point, a third officer, Sergeant Timothy Riepe, rushed over to Oldham and Riddle and took Riddle to the ground. Riddle was handcuffed and left standing in front of Robinson's police car. Oldham, Robinson, and Riepe stepped outside of the view of the dashcam and discussed what occurred. Riddle testified that he heard parts of their conversation, including comments about the angle of the camera, taking Riddle to the ground, and arresting him. On the video, an officer can be heard asking, "Did that guy give you any shit?" Another officer responds, "He didn't give me any shit. I didn't see him behind me until Kyle started talking to him. I'd already gotten my guy cuffed up and had him back on the bumper." At that point, Robinson turned off the microphone and had a conversation with Riepe about the charges Robinson intended to file against Riddle.

         That evening, Robinson drafted an incident report, which in part states:

After I gained control of Arrest 1 [McKinney] and walked him to my patrol car Arrest 2 [Riddle] approached and took up a position within an arms reach of me. PO Oldham . . . arrived as back-up and he made contact with Arrest 2. During the contact PO Oldham advised him that he was going to frisk him, due to him refusing to leave and being in close proximity to me and Arrest 1. During the attempted frisk Arrest 2 pulled away from him and stated "I don't want you to touch me[.]" PO Oldham explained to Arrest 2 the reason for the frisk and attempted to frisk him again but he again pulled away. Sgt Ripe (sic) . . . approached and used an armbar to take him to the ground. Arrest 2 was handcuffed and arrested for hindering and interfering.

         Riddle was charged with violating Kansas City Ordinance § 50-44(a), which in relevant part states: "Any person who shall in any way or manner hinder, obstruct, molest, resist or otherwise interfere with any city public safety officer . . ., including, but not limited to . . . any officer of the city police department . . . in the discharge of his/her official duties shall be guilty of an ordinance violation." Robinson drafted a General Ordinance Summons, which recites the facts supporting the charge as:

Obstruct or resist public safety officer, employee, or inspector - Did hinder, obstruct, molest, resist or otherwise interfere with Kansas City Public Safety Officer, employee or inspector in the discharge of his official duties, to wit: Approach and come in close proxicimity (sic) to arresting officer and arrest failing to comply with verbal commands of officer.

         The charge against Riddle was not prosecuted and was eventually dismissed. On October ...


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