A Maxton resident shot by a police officer is expected to give his deposition this morning in a lawsuit against the town.
Vincent John Hall, who is serving as his own attorney in the case, said he is suing the town over the shooting that occurred in January 2010 at his home on West Cottingham Street.
According to a police report on the incident, Duron Burney, a part-time officer with Maxton, was responding to a complaint about loud music at the residence. As Burney tried to determine what was happening, he and Hall became involved in an altercation, the report said.
Authorities said Hall assaulted Burney with a weapon.
“As a result of the assault with a deadly weapon, Officer Burney shot Vincent John Hall,” the report said.
Hall was hit in the right forearm. He was treated and released at Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg.
Authorities charged Hall with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on an officer, communicating threats and resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer. He was later convicted, but is appealing.
Hall, 53, said he plans to give his side of what happened during today’s deposition at the Maxton Library. He declined to discuss the case with this newspaper.
“You need to come to the deposition to hear what I have to say,” he said.
Hall filed his initial complaint last year against Burney, the town of Maxton, and the Maxton Police Department. Hall claimed that the town had hired Burney part-time and failed to properly train him. Burney worked as full-time as a deputy with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the shooting. He had worked in Maxton for about a year.
Hall is seeking damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
A court dismissed the first case, finding that Hall failed to make a proper claim against any of the defendants.
But Hall appealed, claiming that the court erred by dismissing his case and by denying his motion to amend his complaint.
An appeal court also dismissed the claim against the police department, but said Hall could move forward on his other claims.
That court said that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures includes the right to be free of seizures by excessive force.
“We conclude that Hall’s allegations, albeit brief, that Burney, a police officer, entered his property and shot him was adequate to give defendants notice of, and was sufficient to establish a plausible claim of, excessive force,” the court said.
Regarding Hall’s claim against the town, the court said that “inadequacy of police training may serve as the basis for liability,” but only where the failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom the police come in contact.”
The appeal court also said that Hall may be entitled to relief on his claim against the town of Maxton.
“It is at least possible that Hall can establish through discovery a pattern of conduct by officers indicating a lack of training and that such a lack of training resulted in the injuries Hall alleges he sustained,” the court said. “Ultimately, Hall’s claims may not be successful, but the validity of his claims cannot be determined until the facts surrounding his allegations are developed.”
Maxton Police Chief Tammy Deese declined to discuss the case and referred questions to Town Attorney Nick Sojka.
Sokja said the municipality’s insurance carrier has hired a law firm from Charlotte to handle the lawsuit.