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Deliberate Indifference: Liability for Failure to Train

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 74 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2005 Pages: 22-31
Martin J. King J.D.
Date Published
October 2005
10 pages
This article explores the forms of employer liability for claims that the constitutional violation of rights was caused by a failure to adequately or properly train law enforcement employees.
More frequently than not, where an alleged violation of rights is caused by a police officer, such as use of force, the injured party will attempt to hold the county or municipality responsible by stating that the harm caused could have been avoided by more adequate training. This article addresses the issue of county or municipal liability under the Federal statue Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 which permits individuals to hold government employees and, in some cases, their employers accountable for violation of rights secured by the United States Constitution. The city or county is held liable when they are identified as showing deliberate indifference to the harm that would likely result from the failure to train. The article examines deliberate indifference as a standard of fault that requires a showing that government acted with conscious disregard for the consequences of their actions. However, the deliberate indifference standard requires a high degree of culpability on the part of the policymaker. 50 Endnotes