On the night of December 8, 2015, Nicholas Gilbert was pronounced dead following a tragic incident at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (“SLMPD”) station. Was the cause of death excessive force by SLMPD officers? Well, it is wishful thinking to expect a straightforward answer. It is no secret that recent actions of law enforcement officers have garnered unfettered attention from activist movements across the country. Despite the force of movements like Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police, qualified immunity works to protect law enforcement officers against claims that may arise in their line of duty and consistently prevails in claims of excessive force. This shield of immunity makes it hard for injured parties to get answers about what constitutes excessive force in a court of law.

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