Civil Rights

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Civil Rights

CIVIL RIGHTS-MUNICIPAL LIABILITY Forrest vs. Parry, et al., 3rd Cir. Ct. of App. No. 16-4351, Greenaway, Jr., Circuit Judge.  In Beck vs. City of Pittsburgh, we were faced with what we deemed “a question of considerable interest in [a] period of alleged rising police brutality in major cities across the country” – what is sufficient evidence from which a jury can infer that a municipality adopted a custom of permitting its police officers to use excessive force?  89 F.3d 966, 967 (3d Cir. 1996).  More than two decades later, the interest and allegations persist, and, as it would appear, so does the question.  The evidence in this case demonstrates that the Internal Affairs Unit (“Internal Affairs”) of the since-disbanded Camden Police Department was woefully deficient in investigating civilian complaints about officer misconduct.  Citing Beck, the District Court found this to be sufficient.  However, the Court narrowed the case to only this evidence, and, as a result, did not consider its significance when combined with the non-Internal Affairs-related deficiencies in Camden’s supervision and training of its police officers.   This occurred in two phases: first, the District Court unilaterally divided Appellant,…