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LEGAL BLOG

*The information below is general information meant for educational purposes.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any person who views it.   If you think you need personalized legal assistance, always speak with a qualified attorney. 

Remember: past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

 

This is how you change the system

June 5, 2020

If you want to change the world, you begin now and start with yourself.  If you want to change the System, you change the law's that supports it and the time to act is now.  Currently, there is legislation being proposed in congress, the "End Qualified Immunity Act" that I support, and I think you should support too.

 

"Qualified Immunity" is essentially a shield the System has in place that prevents victims from obtaining compensation when their rights are violated.  This Court created roadblock, means that if an officer's actions didn’t violate a “clearly established" right then an officer would be immune from a lawsuit. 

 

According to Forbes magazine, Qualified Immunity has prevented suits from proceeding in the wake of outrageous police misconduct including where (1) Fresno officers were accused of stealing more than $225,000 during a search, (2) Idaho police bombarded an innocent woman’s home with tear gas grenades, (3) a Georgia officer who tried to kill a family’s dog, accidentally shot a 10-year-old boy.  See shorturl.at/ewzG1.

 

Defenders of Qualified Immunity say such reforms are unnecessary and dangerous in that officers are forced to make "split-second" decisions and people would stop becoming police officers because it would subject them to financial ruin.  These arguments ignore that 1) Many police actions are not the result of decisions made in a "split-second" (see examples above) and (2) Cities, by and large, indemnify officers, meaning only 0.02% of the total dollars paid in lawsuits are paid by officers themselves.

 

 

Proponents of the "End Qualified Immunity Act" state that eliminating Qualified Immunity would not mean automatic payouts for victims, they would still need to prove their case in civil court.  But "such a change would provide a powerful incentive for municipalities to restructure their law enforcement agencies and adopt policies and practices that curtail abuses of power. Those measures could include implementing de-escalation tactics and revising use-of-force standards, as well as firing and blacklisting rogue agents."

 

If you support the change in the law contact your US Senators: shorturl.at/qFGPV

 

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