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Unformatted text preview: hicle, spinning her to the ground. Brown’s knees were severely injured, and she later underwent corrective surgery, with the possibility of the requirement for future knee replacements. The Claim The Brown sued under section 1983 andclaimed, among other things, that Bryan County was liable for Burns’ use of excessive force based on Sheriff Moore's decision to hire Burns, the son of his nephew. Brown claimed that Sheriff Moore failed to adequately review Burns' background before hiring him. Burns had a record of driving infractions and had pleaded guilty to various driving­related and other misdemeanors, including assault and battery, resisting arrest, and public drunkenness. The Question The As in City of Canton v. Harris, there was no question that there was an underlying constitutional violation committed by a non­policymaking employee; here a Fourth Amendment excessive force violation. The question presented was whether the county could be held liable for the underlying constitutional violation based on this county sheriff’s single bad hiring decision. In other words, was the decision to hire, a policymaking decision, suffici...
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