The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Reid Collins & Tsai LLP, on behalf of Plaintiff Teliah Perkins, recently filed their brief in opposition to Defendants’ appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. Perkins was violently arrested and manhandled by two St. Tammany Parish Sherriff’s Office deputies at her own home in Slidell, in response to a minor traffic violation she did not commit. While Ms. Perkins was handcuffed on the ground, one of the deputies shoved and pointed a Taser at her minor son who was peacefully trying to record the incident.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied the bulk of Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court held that the deputies are not entitled to qualified immunity on excessive force and First Amendment claims, as the video footage and deposition testimony show the violation of multiple, clearly established constitutional rights, including the right to be free from unreasonable force and the right of an individual to peacefully record the police without the threat of physical harm.

In response to Defendants’ appeal of the qualified immunity ruling, the ACLU of Louisiana and Reid Collins argued, among other things, that (1) the Fifth Circuit lacks jurisdiction over Defendants’ interlocutory challenge of the district court’s determination that genuine issues of material facts exist, and (2) the evidence established that the Defendants use of force was objectively unreasonable and violated clearly established constitutional rights.

Ms. Perkins is represented by Nora Ahmed of the ACLU of Louisiana, and the team of Keith Cohan, Ryan Goldstein, and Sean Johnson of Reid Collins & Tsai.

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