The Determinant Factor

The Determinant Factor


Week 2 discussion 2
While examining how federal statues and court decisions affect law enforcement training, relate deliberate indifference to the actions or training conducted by the organization or municipality. What circumstances in City of Canton v. Harris brought about the court’s evaluation of deliberate indifference? How do federal statutes impact or influence inadequate or improper training by law enforcement, specifically through Title 42, U.S. Code, Section 1983? Does a finding of deliberate indifference take into consideration either the inability or unwillingness to follow or understand the specific training?


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Before the case went to court, Harris was taken to the police department under arrest, even though she needed medical help and did not receive any until she was released. After some time had passed, a lawsuit was filed because she felt the officers had violated her Fourteenth Amendment (M2 Resource Group, n.d.). Deliberate indifference comes into play because it may seen as a failure by the management to train their officers to respond to different situation. In this case, the officers were not trained and did not have the knowledge on what to do. However, the municipality can be held liable for failure to train the officers. Federal statutes can impact and influence inadequate training because individuals may be deprived of their rights, especially when an individual needs medical attention. However, if officers are not trained, they are not aware of what needs to be done and may not be held liable. The findings of a deliberate indifference may take into consideration of the inability or the unwillingness to follow or understand specific training. The first way deliberate indifference may be taken into consideration is if the officers have not been training appropriately and cannot recognize when a person needs to be seen by a doctor. The second way is if it was found that “a city is not liable under § 1983 unless a municipal “policy” or “custom” is the moving force behind the constitutional violation, and held that the inadequacy of police training may serve as the basis for §1983 liability only where the failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom the police come into contact” (M2 Resource Group, n.d.).


M2 Resource Group. (n.d.). Can “Failure to Train” Lead to Litigation. Retrieved from