OKLAHOMA CITY – The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has set a date of May 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM MT/10:00 am CT for oral argument in the case of Redd v. City of Oklahoma City, et al. The ACLU of Oklahoma announced they were joining the legal team next to lead counsel, Jacob Diesselhorst of Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst, PLLC in October of 2020. This case stems from the killing of Brian Simms Jr. in 2013 by off-duty Oklahoma City police officer, Paul Galyon.
In response to the oral argument date announcement, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director, Mike Redman and lead counsel, Jacob Diesselhorst issued the following joint statement:
“In a country devastated by the deaths and injuries of hundreds of people at the hands of police officers, drastic changes are needed in our approach to public safety. The issue of qualified immunity, a legal defense which allows police officers to engage in unconstitutional and illegal acts - primarily impacting Black and Brown communities - while avoiding accountability, has expanded considerably beyond its intended purpose. This appeal presents the unique issue of whether an off-duty police officer acting for a private company in a private capacity may assert the defense of qualified immunity. The matter in question has only been addressed in one other United States Court of Appeals, which concluded that any off-duty officer acting in a private capacity is not entitled to qualified immunity as a defense. Officer Galyon acted neither reasonably nor in his official capacity when he shot Brian Simms Jr. at least nine times while he sat in a parked car. We are urging the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to follow the lead of the Ninth Circuit and hold that Officer Galyon is not entitled to qualified immunity for the murder of Brian Donnell Simms Jr.”