In this case a person, Sullivan, was shot and killed by the police in an apartment search. The police lost summary judgment at district court and appealed. On appeal the Ninth Circuit affirmed. But in dissent Judge Wu refers to a “ninja” knife

KATHLEEN ESPINOSA, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of decedent Asa Sullivan; ASA SULLIVAN; A. S., by and through his Guardian ad Litem; NICOLE GUERRA, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO; HEATHER FONG, in her capacity as Chief of Police, Defendants, and JOHN KEESOR, Police Officer; MICHELLE ALVIS, Police Officer; PAUL MORGADO, Police Officer, Defendants-Appellants.

No. 08-16853

UNITED STATES
COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

598 F.3d 528

Filed – March 9, 2010

Before Judges: Procter Hug, Jr. and Richard A. Paez, Circuit Judges, and George H. Wu, * District Judge.
* The Honorable George H. Wu, United States District Judge for the Central District of California, sitting by designation.

Opinion by Judge Hug; Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Judge Wu.

In the opinion of District Judge Wu, sitting on the Court of appeal by designation, concurring in part and dissenting in part:

I agree with the majority that the district court properly denied summary judgment as to the defendant officers’ claim of qualified immunity in regards to their entering and searching the apartment. However, I disagree with the Opinion’s resolution of the qualified immunity question in the contexts of the unreasonable force and provoking a confrontation issues.

noting:

Martin was searched for weapons and a four inch “ninja” knife was located in his back pocket. It did not appear to have any blood on it.

concluding:

I dissent from the majority’s affirmation of the district court’s denial of the defendant officers’ motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity as to the issues of excessive force and provoking a confrontation.

It is interesting to note that it is the judicial opinion in favor of the police that refers to the “ninja” knife. What makes a knife a ninja knife… because it is quoted maybe it is testimony but it is uncited in Judge Wu’s dissent.

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