The city of Atlanta has decided to fight a lawsuit by the family of Kathryn Johnston, the elderly woman killed during a police raid that was built on intentionally faked evidence. They’re going to argue that the city is not liable for her death because there was no official policy that endorsed the behavior of the officers:
City attorneys will use what is called, the Monell Defense. The city hopes to show there was no policy, practice or custom showing the police department violated Johnston’s constitutional rights.
Local attorney Stan Klinger said the Monell Defense is also called the rogue cop’s defense, because the behavior that led to the raid on Johnston’s home was way outside of established city procedures.
This is going to be a difficult argument to make given that virtually the entire drug task force was found guilty of misconduct and fired. Of course there was no official policy telling police officers that they should plant drugs on people to coerce false confessions or that they were not supposed to leave an elderly woman dying on her living room floor rather than call 911. But the fact that the entire department was doing those things and worse clearly establishes culpability. The oversight was clearly non-existent.