Brief
Redefining Qualified Immunity

Published ON:
April 14, 2023
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Problem

Background

Policy Response

Redefining Qualified Immunity

Key Observations

  • Police accountability often leaves victims of police misconduct with no civil remedy.
  • Officers are 3.5 times more likely to have their petitions accepted by the Supreme Court than petitions they receive from civilians.
  • Qualified immunity protections have significantly reduced the ability of law enforcement executives to foster officer accountability and prevent victims of abuse from seeking justice.
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Redefining Qualified Immunity

 Redefining Qualified Immunity

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 officers from being held accountable in the court of law. This is the fourth in a series of action briefs on police reform.

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 Redefining Qualified Immunity
 Redefining Qualified Immunity