Lawsuit against city, police dismissed in July

A lawsuit against the city of Idaho Falls for personal injury was dismissed in July after the judge found the Idaho Falls Police Department did not violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.

Dustin Shay George filed a lawsuit against the city in 2015, alleging police had used excessive force to arrest him when he was in a suicidal state in February 2014. The lawsuit states Idaho Falls Police had detonated a flash-bang grenade outside the truck he was in, shattered the back window with bean bag grenades and pepper sprayed George.

The police officers cited in the lawsuit countered they had probable cause to believe George was armed and dangerous and posed a threat to himself and others.

District Judge Greg Moeller wrote in his decision that the police did use a great amount of force, but the preceding case law (Drummond v. City of Anaheim, Glenn V. Washington County and Deorle v. Rutherford) was not applicable to George’s lawsuit because of differences in circumstances.

Moeller also ruled the police were protected by qualified immunity, which protects public officials from lawsuits as long as they do not violate clearly established rights of the individual.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.