Judge Breen Dismisses Case Against Chattanooga Police Detective And City

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Attorneys Bryan Hoss and Janie Varnell with Davis & Hoss, P.C. representing a Chattanooga Police detective won a victory before the United States District Court Judge Daniel Breen in a civil rights lawsuit involving a suspect’s claims against the detective and the Chattanooga Police Department.

Nearly three years ago, August 2017, Detective Mike Early saw a suspect with an active warrant behind a business on Rossville Boulevard.  Detective Early called for back-up and then proceeded to make an arrest.  The suspect fled to his vehicle and then proceeded to drive towards Detective Early trying to strike him.  Pursuant to his training and experience, Detective Early fired his weapon striking the suspect who survived.  That suspect filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking monetary damages against Detective Early and the city of Chattanooga.

Yesterday, United States District Court Judge Daniel Breen dismissed the suspect’s lawsuit against both Detective Early and the city of Chattanooga and granted Summary Judgment in their favor. 

Attorneys for Detective Early, Mr. Hoss and Ms. Varnell said, “This win is the clearest indication that Detective Early followed his training and departmental policy in discharging his weapon that day.  At all times, his decisions and his use of force was justified.  We applaud not only Judge Breen’s decision, but also the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office who prosecuted the suspect and obtained a conviction for the aggravated assault on Detective Early. 

"This Order and decision finally brings this case to a conclusion and shows that what Detective Early did, at all times, was warranted and within the law.  Our office will continue to stand up for law enforcement officers in and around Chattanooga who make the right decision to use force when it is justified.”


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