Redefining Qualified Immunity

 Redefining Qualified Immunity

The Problem: The U.S. court system established the doctrine of qualified immunity in 1967 to protect government employees “acting in good faith.” It was claimed that qualified immunity would allow police officers to do their job effectively, including making split-second, life-or-death decisions without fear of frivolous lawsuits or verdicts based on information not available at the time of action. Over the years, court rulings have greatly expanded qualified immunity, effectively preventing police offers from being held accountable in the court of law. This immunity potentially incentivizes police abuse by limiting accountability measures, a common perception that has yet to be empirically validated. The exercise of qualified immunity inflates the power of law enforcement and adequately deflects the actions of officers that violate the civil rights of others. This loophole of police accountability often leaves victims of police misconduct with no civil remedy. This is the fourth in a series of action briefs on police reform.

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 Redefining Qualified Immunity
 Redefining Qualified Immunity