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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:While executing a no-knock search based on an arrest warrant, Allen Hill of the North Richland Hills Police Department SWAT team shot and killed Troy James Davis, the subject of the arrest warrant. Hill claimed Davis was standing at the end of a hallway pointing a gun at Hill, so Hill shot him. Davis’ mother, Barbara Jean Davis, sued Hill. She claimed that Hill used excessive force against Davis. She said Davis was lying face down on the ground with his arms outstretched shouting “Don’t hurt us” when Hill shot him. Davis’ mother also said sued Chief of Police Tom Shockley and another officer, J.A. Wallace, both of whom supervised Hill. She said the pair had inadequately supervised Hill, that Hill was prone to use excessive or deadly force, and had a reputation for displaying lewd and criminal behavior while on duty. In response to Shockley’s and Wallace’s motion for summary judgment � based on qualified immunity � Davis’ mother produced testimony from a former member of the SWAT team indicating that, during training exercises, Hill had fired his weapon three times when gunfire was unwarranted. The court also says evidence was introduced that Hill had a tendency to act too aggressively; that Hill had acted “like a psycho” and like he was “going to kill somebody” when he pulled over a citizen for a traffic violation; and that Hill earned the nickname “Penie” when he exposed himself during a SWAT team training photograph. The district court concluded as a matter of law that Shockley and Wallace were not entitled to qualified immunity on the supervisory liability claims. The district court also denied summary judgment to Hill on the excessive force claim, but that ruling is not on appeal. HOLDING:Reversed. The court initially explains that supervisory officials cannot be held liable under 28 U.S.C. 1983 for actions of their subordinates through vicarious liability or respondeat superior liability. Instead, plaintiffs in a 1983 case must prove that the supervisors themselves denied a person’s constitutional rights. When a failure-to-train or failure-to-supervise claim is made, the plaintiff must show 1. the supervisor either failed to supervise or train the subordinate official; 2. a causal link exists between the failure to train or supervise and the violation of the plaintiff’s rights; and 3. the failure to train or supervise amounts to deliberate indifference. The court says this case turns on the third prong: deliberate indifference. Going through the evidence presented by Davis’ mother at the summary judgment hearing, the court concludes that, even taken as a whole, it is legally insufficient “and thus not material” to support a finding of deliberate indifference. None of the facts indicated that Hill had a history of excessive force against a third party resulting in injury that would implicate inadequate training or supervision. First, while Hill’s exposure during the team photo demonstrated lack of judgment and crudity, it does not point to past use of excessive force. Similarly, the traffic stop, while perhaps improper in its own right, did not involve excessive force with a deadly weapon resulting in harm to a citizen in a context similar to this case. Second, though Hill’s inappropriate use of his gun during training is much like the scenario in this case, because it occurred during a training exercise, it is undisputed that no one’s constitutional rights were violated and that Hill never used excessive force against a third party. The court says it is also hesitant to analyze supervisory liability by placing too much emphasis on mistakes made during training. Third, as to a background investigation report indicating that Hill “comes off too aggressive at times,” there is no evidence to suggest that either Wallace or Shockley was aware of it, and the district court did not impute knowledge of the report to either of them. Finally, in this case, there is no pattern of excessive force against third parties. The court clarifies that its holding is not that a single incident can never suffice to demonstrate deliberate indifference. In this case, there was training, and Davis’ mother has not shown that those training sessions were so deficient as to constitute deliberate indifference. “The training sessions were in fact right on point, albeit a trier of fact might conclude not completely successful with Hill. It is not enough to say that more or different training or supervision would have prevented the result of the ill-fated raid.” OPINION:Patrick E. Higginbotham, J.; King, C.J., Higginbotham and Davis, JJ.

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