In AB v. County of San Diego the decedent was handcuffed, hog-tied, hooded in a bloody spit mask, and subjected to 7 minutes of forceful prone restraint by several officers who pressed their knees and fists down on his back. San Diego county's designee admitted at deposition that officers received no training on asphyxia, and were in fact affirmatively encouraged to use substantial body weight on a prone subject to achieve compliance with verbal commands.
NPAP's brief addresses the importance of Monell claims based on training deficiencies. In particular, the brief covers how the panel's requirement that a plaintiff show a pattern of similar violations is inconsistent with Canton and undesirable from a public policy standpoint (i.e. a plaintiff should not have to point to "X" number of people killed or injured to show that a police department needs to improve its training).
From the brief:
Plaintiffs have never been required to show a trail of constitutional violations where the need for training is so obvious that the failure to provide training amounts to deliberate indifference. The prone-restraint hold used by the officers in this case poses an obvious danger, yet the San Diego Sheriff’s Department failed to offer any training on the proper methods for using such restraint. This failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference. In deciding otherwise, the panel’s decision flouts the precedent of this Court and conflicts with the decisions of other circuit courts.
NPAP members John Fattahi and Dale Gallipo are counsel for the petitioners.