October 29 - Law Enforcement
Police Interactions with the Mentally Ill
This presentation will focus on the emerging trend of plaintiffs pleading Monell claims based on the theory that a police department fails to train officers how to adequately respond to mentally ill individuals in a variety of settings. Courts appear to be breaking with prior patterns and finding such allegations sufficient to state a claim for municipal liability at the pleading stage. This presenter will discuss these trends and how to defend against them. Additionally, hear from the City of Austin’s Assistant Chief of Police on policy considerations, police operations, and training for officers regarding police interactions with the mentally ill.
Speakers: Melanie Speight & Justin Newsom
Melanie Speight defends the City of New York and members of the New York City Police Department in federal civil rights actions commenced pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging constitutional violations including false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and municipal liability. She has tried eighteen federal cases to verdict, including several high-profile matters
Assistant Chief Justin Newson is a 21-year veteran of the Austin Police Department. He was assigned as the Assistant Chief of the Centralized Patrol Bureau in August 2017. Prior to his promotion to Assistant Chief he served as the Commander over the Downtown Area Command. He served for five years as a Lieutenant in the Violent Crimes Command over units such as Homicide, Robbery, Child Abuse and the Crisis Intervention Team. Throughout his career he has held a variety of assignments in both patrol and investigations including in the Sex Crimes and the Internal Affairs Division.
Assistant Chief Newsom has also served on the department’s Special Response Team in all ranks since 1999. This tea is tasked with planning for and managing large crowds, marches, and protests.
Assistant Chief Newsom grew up in the Austin area and served for six years in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to joining APD.