Williams v. City of Alexander, No. 13-3497 (8th Cir. Dec. 8, 2014).
Small-town politics can get vicious. If police officer Brad Williams is to be believed, then his former boss, Horace Walters—the police chief of the Alexander, Arkansas police force—swore up a totally false affidavit accusing him of two acts of theft. Chief Walters did this because officer Williams was a supporter of the mayor of the Alexander, who had tried to get Walters filed. Walters had sworn to “destroy” Williams. He tried to accomplish this with the false affidavit—an affidavit, however, that led merely to Williams spending the night in jail and the prosecutor quickly dismissing the charges.
The Eighth Circuit, affirming the district court, holds that Williams’s evidence is sufficient to require a trial. If Williams’s evidence is true—and in this posture, the Eighth Circuit must assume it is—then Walters violated the Fourth Amendment by inventing probable cause to arrest Williams.