Carson v. Polley

689 F.2d 562 (1982)

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Carson v. Polley

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
689 F.2d 562 (1982)

SC

Facts

Arthur Carson (plaintiff) was arrested. Carson sued the Dallas County sheriff, the Dallas County constable, and seven of their deputies (defendants) for violating his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, Carson alleged that he was arrested without probable cause and that the arresting officers used excessive force. At trial, the defendants sought to introduce a knife that, according to the defendants, was similar to a knife the officers had found on Carson when they arrested him. Carson denied having a knife on his person at the time of the arrest and claimed that the knife admitted into evidence was not his. The knife was relevant to both Carson’s probable-cause and his excessive-force claims. Outside of the presence of the jury, the district court decided to admit the knife into evidence as illustrative evidence. Back in front of the jury, a witness for the defendants testified that the knife was “the knife” that had been taken from Carson. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants. Carson appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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