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Health
8th Circuit dismisses suit against BIA jail officer


A Bureau of Indian Affairs corrections officer cannot he held liable for allegedly beating a man on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday.

Bobby L. Johnson claims he was severely beaten by jailer Shobe Little Light in September 2003. Johnson spent six weeks in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained when Little Light tried to arrest and detain him for intoxication.

But since Little Light was not acting as a police officer, the court said he cannot be sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act. "The BIA's corrections program is distinct from the BIA's law enforcement program," the decision stated.

Johnson was seeking $500,000 in damages from the BIA.

Get the Story:
Beating allegations lawsuit dismissed (AP 7/29)

8th Circuit Decision:
Johnson v. US (July 25, 2008)