Gainesville policemen lose appeal in suit growing out of fatal shooting

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed appeals by two Gainesville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man several years ago on a street near Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

The court cited a “lack of jurisdiction” in its 10-page ruling on the matter, which was handed down July 27. The pair had sought immunity from prosecution.

“We  lack  jurisdiction  over  this  denial  of   official  immunity,” the appellate judges declared in the final paragraph of the 10-page ruling.  “The district court denied summary judgment based on official im-munity because  the  evidence  ‘raises  a  factual  question  regarding  whether Mr. English posed an imminent threat to the officers and . . . whether the officers acted with justification.’ The district court explained that ‘[t]he evidence could lead a reasonable jury to con-clude that [the officers] lacked any justification to fire their guns.’ In  other  words,  the  district  court  denied  summary  judgment  be-cause of  a genuine dispute of  material fact.”

On Sept. 20, 2019, officers Jonathan Fowler and Jose Hernandez shot and killed Adam Paul English after being dispatched to the scene following reports of a man on the sidewalk with a gun.  English’s family sued the officers claiming that they used excessive force.

You can read the court’s full ruling here:

Joshua Paul English, et al v. Officer Jonathan Fowler, et al, No. 22-10927 (11th Cir. 2023) :: Justia