The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today
upheld a lower court's refusal to dismiss a lawsuit against Faulkner County sheriff's employees for alleged use of excessive forced in quelling a jail disturbance Oct. 24, 2010. Inmates said they were shot with beanbag guns, kicked and harmed by a flash-bang grenade after they'd submitted to officers.
The lower court denied immunity claims by individual defendants on account of testimony in support of the excessive force and failure-to-protect claims. The appeals court agreed this was proper, except as to then-Sheriff Karl Byrd.
The appeals court said he should be immune from suit because he was not present at the jail that day. Thus he couldn't have used excessive force or intervened to protect the inmates.