Hines v. City Of Columbus

676 Fed.Appx. 546 (6th Cir. 2017)


Police officers Debra Paxton (Paxton), Thomas DeWitt (DeWitt), and Edward Prime (Prime) (Ds), arrested Hines (P) causing injuries, which included post-concussive syndrome with contusions on his face, chemosis of his eyes from mace, and post-traumatic stress disorder. P incurred $10,303.00 in medical bills. P brought excessive force and § 1983 conspiracy claims against five police officers and failure-to-intervene claims against three of those officers. Eventually, three Ds were tried by jury on the excessive force and failure-to-intervene claims. The jury awarded P $30,000 in compensatory damages on his excessive force claim. On appeal, P contends in part that he was denied a fair trial and is entitled to a new one because the district court erred in denying his Batson challenge during jury selection. P, who is African American, complains that the district court erred in denying his Batson challenge because Ds did not offer a race-neutral explanation for excluding one of the African-American jurors. Ds exercised their first peremptory challenge to remove Juror #78, an African American. P did not contemporaneously object. When Ds used their third peremptory challenge to strike Juror #37, also an African American, P argued that Ds were 'systematically excusing members of ethnicity. There were only two African-Americans in the entire venire, and D struck them both. D offered a race-neutral explanation for striking Juror #37, which the district court accepted. D did not offer any explanation for peremptorily striking Juror #78, the district court did not ask for one, and P did not insist that D provide one.