Qualified Immunity

Tim Scott Is Proposing a Major Reform to Qualified Immunity

The GOP has resisted reining in the doctrine. That might change.

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Sen. Tim Scott (R–S.C.) has reportedly proposed a compromise to rein in qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that makes it difficult for victims to sue government officials when their constitutional rights have been violated.

Scott, who has served as the Republican leader on police reform talks, is suggesting that the doctrine be pulled back for law enforcement and that liability shift from individual cops to the departments that employ them. As of this writing, it was not immediately clear if the plan would curtail qualified immunity or outright eliminate it. (Qualified immunity protects all public officials, though this move would likely apply solely to police officers.)

Legislated into existence by the Supreme Court, qualified immunity currently requires that any misconduct alleged against state actors be outlined almost exactly in a previous court precedent should the victim want the right to bring his suit before a jury. Such a thing often doesn't exist. Qualified immunity has thus protected a cop who shot a 10-year-old, two cops who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant, a cop who ruined a man's car during a bogus drug search, two cops who beat and arrested a man for standing outside his own house, and a cop who shot an unarmed 15-year-old, among others.

"[Democrats] have been as responsive in this recent conversation than they have ever been, in my opinion," Scott told CNN, noting that the discussion is "on the verge of wrapping soon."

Some progressives have pushed back on the idea, according to the network, instead insisting that individual officers be held accountable personally. That's misguided. As I've previously written, police departments already finance the vast majority of payouts when a police officer is not granted qualified immunity and subsequently loses a lawsuit in his or her professional capacity.

"Sen. Tim Scott's proposal—requiring the city to bear the costs of these suits, instead of officers—would make transparent what already happens in over 99 percent of cases," writes Joanna C. Schwartz, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles and an expert in qualified immunity. "We absolutely need to find ways to increase officer accountability—by, for example, changing union protections that make it difficult to fire bad officers."

The GOP has historically resisted change on this issue. After the death of George Floyd sparked a national conversation on issues of police misbehavior and accountability, the issue of qualified immunity went from an obscure doctrine discussed in legal and academic circles to something the majority of the American public now supports reforming. Former Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) unveiled a bill to eliminate the doctrine for all government officials and achieved tripartisan support—though with only one Republican co-sponsor.

Sen. Mike Braun (R–Ind.) introduced his own proposal to curb the doctrine, but withdrew it after Fox News host Tucker Carlson lambasted him for it and after the law enforcement lobby made its resistance known. Former President Donald Trump said that reform on the issue would've constituted an automatic veto, and Scott himself said last summer that it would have been a "poison pill."

But a few states have picked up the mantle where Congress has refused to act. The New York Times reports that legislators are studying reforms in Colorado, which passed a law last summer allowing people to bring claims against police officers in state court. New Mexico and Connecticut have greenlit similar pieces of legislation.

Virginia also mulled such reforms. Lawmakers eventually abandoned the idea after encountering opposition from a group of predictable dissenters: police unions.

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  1. >>requiring the city to bear the costs of these suits

    so, us.

    1. Not having your rights violated has a price. It’s not free.

      1. We have to violate your rights to protect your rights!

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  3. (Qualified immunity protects all public officials, though this move would likely apply solely to police officers.)

    That’ll be interesting to see how they pull that off.

    “Sen. Tim Scott’s proposal—requiring the city to bear the costs of these suits, instead of officers—would make transparent what already happens in over 99 percent of cases,” writes Joanna C. Schwartz, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles and an expert in qualified immunity.

    I like what I’m seeing so far. I had to read this passage about four times to understand exactly what he’s proposing– or more accurately, the presumed effects of such a policy, and it’s an interesting point. If I understand this, he’s proposing that we allow officers to be sued, but give the officer a financial shield by having the municipality pay the judgement with the idea that the public would be able to some how see the process?

    My only skepticism here is that I think he’s overly optimistic that changing the name on some forms in the lawsuit will wake the public up on this. I don’t know how much the public needs to be alerted to what’s going on– we can do that now– but it’s the individual officers who commit egregious violations of the public trust that need to be held accountable. So I’m not 100% sure how that helps if the officer never sees the inside of a courtroom, or suffers the consequences of his actions.

    This last little bit:

    “We absolutely need to find ways to increase officer accountability—by, for example, changing union protections that make it difficult to fire bad officers.”

    will get no disagreement from me. But that may be a steeper climb than even qualified immunity.

    1. Police could be required to obtain malpractice insurance. That way, the insurance company, tracking their income stream against payouts, would eventually refuse to cover a police officer who habitually gets sued. Lawyers, doctors have malpractice insurance, why not government officials?

      1. The likely reality will be that the union will carry malpractice insurance for them– or more likely, the union will merely negotiate that the city has to indemnify them from lawsuits in the next round of contract negotiations. And indemnification is exactly what Colorado implemented.

        Again, I don’t see how any of this really “fixes” or even addresses what most agree is the problem with QI when the officer never sees the inside of a courtroom, or ever feels the sting in his wallet.

        1. I agree. Initially, no, it would seem that it does not fix the problem. But perhaps Senator Scott understands that thorny problems, particularly those that one’s own party resists solving, must be addressed gradually. Small steps then bigger ones, etc. Thinking more broadly, much of what libertarians want to accomplish will require small steps at first – and any movement in the right direction should be applauded.

          1. “…– and any movement in the right direction should be applauded.”

            “Any movement?”

            Let the people eat crumbs, eh.

            Nike: Do The Right Thing…and if it takes small steps over decades then that’s ok because who gives a fuck if you will be able to enjoy any of the progress.

            You must be one of those reasonable, reach around the aisle types that I hear the political class is so enamored with. FO

            Is BLM or Antifa patient and accept scraps from their minions? Don’t think so. Homey don’t play that.

    2. My issue is with the last part, “solely police officers”. This should apply to all government employees that currently have QI. The few deaths that have occurred are terrible but just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to government abuse of the citizenry. Even by police, you are more likely to be harassed by non-lethal means, being arrested or ticketed just because you stand up for your rights or because the cop does not like you for some reason. Then there is the code enforcement, CPS etc. you are much more likely to be harangued in these circumstances with no recourse, just because you challenged their authority or said something they did not like than to be shot by a cop. And don’t get me started on the school boards who have decided if you challenge them they are going to go after you and your family. If we are going to remove or limit QI it should be for them all not just the cops.
      I would also like to see the absolute immunity for DA’s altered as well, if like the DA in Missouri you go after people for obvious political reasons, or if knowingly withhold evidence from defendants they should be able to go after the prosecutor for damages as well.

      1. Yes, yes, yes!

        They have a ton of leeway to make your life a living hell already. But QI should only kick in if they are acting within that leeway. As it is, the individuals are immune and the state has sovereign immunity. So you can just go pound sand if you don’t like what they did to you.

        Like those folks who’s house was completely destroyed during a manhunt and the city declined to pay for it, backed by the courts.

        That is nuts. And we are nuts for tolerating it.

    3. (Qualified immunity protects all public officials, though this move would likely apply solely to police officers.)

      That’ll be interesting to see how they pull that off.

      I hope they don’t. All public officials should be liable when they cross a line in their duties

    4. I like what I’m seeing so far. I had to read this passage about four times to understand exactly what he’s proposing– or more accurately, the presumed effects of such a policy, and it’s an interesting point. If I understand this, he’s proposing that we allow officers to be sued, but give the officer a financial shield by having the municipality pay the judgement with the idea that the public would be able to some how see the process?

      I don’t see the appeal of this or how this directly impacts the behavior of the bad actor. There is still no incentive for the bad actor to change their behavior.

      This is what currently happens today. People don’t sue just the cop, but the city and the PD as well. Then the courts say “QI means you can’t sue the person” but the city pays the damages.

      What exactly does this proposal change? Other than allowing the individual to be sued in name only the net effect is the same? The taxpayer are paying the settlement and the bad actor pays no price for their behavior

      The bad actors don’t pay, the muni and the taxpayers pay.

      This proposal is all for show and not actually trying to accomplish anything.

      1. I guess being sued personally (even if the city pays in the end) makes it harder for them to avoid testifying. So, better accountability.

  4. More like the democrats have sunk Scotts bill because they want it and are willing to throw black people under the bus to get it.

  5. No QI
    No unions
    No secrecy

    1. No chance

  6. “Is Proposing”?

    Nice headline.

    Tim Scott proposed legislation on comprehensive reform last year, which Trump supported. And Democrats blocked it because they wanted the issue rather than the reform.

    Let’s have a little more “calling a spade a spade”.

    There is no intention of making any libertarian friendly positive criminal justice reforms. The entire point is to bring back racial animus. And they are winning.

    1. This is why I didn’t rtfa. Reason can’t help being dishonest when it comes to Republicans vs Democrats. This bill was already proposed by him, and Democrats shot it down.

    2. Tim Scott proposed legislation on comprehensive reform last year, which Trump supported. And Democrats blocked it because they wanted the issue rather than the reform.

      He didn’t propose anything comprehensive and he isn’t actually proposing anything to hold the bad actor directly accountable either financially or professionally.

      GTFO with your partisan bullshit. There will be no criminal justice reform when the GOP refuses to
      A: Admit there is a problem with policing in America
      B: Hold the people directly accountable.

      For the party that masturbates to the phrase “personal accountability” they sure lose their erections when it’s applied to law enforcement

      1. GTFO with your partisan bullshit. There will be no criminal justice reform when the GOP refuses to
        A: Admit there is a problem with policing in America
        B: Hold the people directly accountable.

        Tom, you live in Chicago, right? The GOP is a bit scarce in that neck of the woods. Every single leadership position is held by a Democrat, mostly, progressive Democrats of color, yet they blame racism and sexism for their issues. All 50 Aldermen are Democrats. In what way does the GOP have an effect in Chicago? From what I’ve seen, they don’t want Chicago to change at all, they are a perfect example of what not to do.
        A. Admit there is a problem with policing in America.
        There is a problem with policing in Chicago and cities like it, that doesn’t mean that the entire country has a problem. I left Chicago and I have very few problems with crime and policing.
        B. Hold the people directly accountable.
        Tom, have you heard the name Kim Foxx? Perhaps you should look her up. Chicago has had 17 murders already this year committed by people out on bail.
        https://cwbchicago.com/

  7. Qualified immunity isn’t the same issue in every state. It isn’t even the same issue in different cities in the same state.

    Start from the premise that if government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is only to protect our rights. One of those legitimate purposes is to protect our rights from criminals. Should the protection of those rights only go to people who can afford to pay for it?

    My answer is “no”. The police should respond to the calls when violent criminals violate the rights of children and the poor regardless of their inability to pay, much like people who can’t afford to hire an attorney should have one provided for them to represent them in court. After all, the if the courts have any legitimate purpose, it’s to protect our rights from the police.

    Once we’ve established the idea that people are entitled to the protection of their rights from criminals regardless of their ability to pay, we need to account for the fact that some parts of some cities in our country are so violent, that there may not be an insurance company anywhere in America who would sell a cop a liability insurance policy to operate in that neighborhood.

    There are sheriffs out there whose job it is to go into the most violent parts of Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, and Oakland and bring in people accused of violent crimes, when they fail to show up for their court date. The chances of them having a violent encounter of some sort in any particular year probably approaches 100%. Selling an insurance policy to a law enforcement officer like that would be like selling a fire insurance policy to someone whose roof is already burning–except in the case of the cop, the liability losses aren’t limited to the cost of a house.

    When suing a cop, a simple majority (rather than a unanimous jury) is all that’s required to win, and the standard is by a preponderance of the evidence (rather than beyond a reasonable doubt). I don’t know why a rational insurer would write an insurance for police who work in some of the most violent neighborhoods in America under those circumstances, and if every insurer in the country thinks it’s too risky to write an insurance policy, why should any rational cop operate in those neighborhoods without an insurance policy?

    Meanwhile, people who suffer from violent crime in the worst neighborhoods in the country have rights that need to be protected from violent criminals–regardless of whether the market can price the risk of a lawsuit at a reasonable level. In those cases, it may make a lot of sense for the city council to accept the liability for the behavior of their police. They’re paying for it one way or another anyway–even if they pay the cop enough to cover the cost of an insurance policy. The decision not to have police–in an extremely violent neighborhood–is a poor one, and when violent crime spirals out of control, the voters really should make the city council members who are ultimately responsible for that decision pay with their seats.

    1. Some of you may have seen Escape from New York, a film from 1981. That film was made at a time when the police were largely retreating from what became no-go areas for them in our major cities, with the extreme premise of that movie being that crime in New York City became so bad in the future, they just walled it off, called it a prison, and let the criminals have it. That’s obviously an extreme premise, but I think we’ll see the same kind of thing–to a far lesser extent–if some of these especially violent cities get rid of qualified immunity.

      The cops probably won’t forfeit their pensions in these violent cities and move to a city with less crime, but if they’re rational people and the risk of getting sued for doing what’s necessary to keep violent crime down becomes so high that no liability insurance company in their right mind would offer them a policy at any price, then they’ll probably stop doing what’s necessary to keep violent crime down. If responding quickly and effectively to violent calls gets them sued, why wouldn’t they do everything they can to avoid the risk of getting sued? Even irrational people react to price signals.

      1. That’s obviously an extreme premise, but I think we’ll see the same kind of thing–to a far lesser extent–if some of these especially violent cities get rid of qualified immunity.

        I think this is insane thinking. And people who think like this should be shunned from society.

        Why, in your mind, does keeping crime in check require allowing the police to abuse people and violate their rights with impunity?

        Doctors run the risk of getting sued and they due their jobs just fine. In fact almost every profession has a risk of being sued for actions taken in the course of your duties.That risk makes you do your job better and for you to act in a professional manner…unless you are a cop I guess? Why are cops treated as special ?

        if they’re rational people and the risk of getting sued for doing what’s necessary to keep violent crime

        Again you are literally arguing that violating peoples rights without accountability is “necessary” to prevent crime. Excessive force isn’t “necessary”, stealing from people while executing search warrants arent “necessary” — racial profiling and pretextual stops aren’t necessary. Violently arresting people who don’t show enough respect to the police isn’t “necessary”

        Rational people reject your stupid premise and any analysis that flows from that ridiculous premise.

        Police can stop crime just fine without being allowed to rough up suspects who ran once they have them in custody.

        George Floyd didn’t require a knee on his neck for 9+ minutes for the police to do their job (in fact, passing on the fake $20 didnt even require an arrest….they could have just ticketed him…they used their discretion to arrest and murder him instead)

        1. “Why, in your mind, does keeping crime in check require allowing the police to abuse people and violate their rights with impunity?”

          We’re not talking about criminal charges. We’re talking about getting sued in civil court. Do you not understand the meaning of “impunity”? If a cop murders someone on the job, he can still be tried for murder.

          Meanwhile, this doesn’t have anything to do with abusing people to keep crime in check. The fact is that the willingness of the police to show up quickly and engage with violent offenders is a key part of keeping violent offences in check, and the standard for a civil trial is a majority of jurors and a preponderance of the evidence. If you pass all those liability costs to individual cops, they will do their best to avoid situations that might expose them to liability.

          When the violent offenders know that that the police are avoiding engaging with them, that is not a recipe for low crime. If you know the police are unlikely to engage with you for robbing the liquor store at gunpoint until after they know you’ve fled the scene, that is likely to lead to more armed robberies. To believe that the reluctance of the police to engage with violent offenders would have no impact on the crime rate in an extremely high crime area is preposterous.

          1. P.S. Do you imagine this is true in personal injury claims in auto accidents?

            Insurance companies will often offer you a couple thousand dollars for your injury–even without suing them. It’s worth it for them to do so because even if the accident was your fault, there’s a good chance the jury will side with you anyway.

            From the other side of the equation, yeah. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, there’s a good chance that the jury will side with the plaintiff. Why shouldn’t cops take that into consideration?

            Regardless of whether the evidence suggests that you acted perfectly appropriately when you subdued a violent suspect, would you want to be a white cop in Oakland defending yourself against a lawsuit that alleges you used excessive force right now? I’d like to think that juries are impartial and they go by the evidence, but if it’s my life savings on the line, I’m not betting the farm on that.

        2. “Doctors run the risk of getting sued and they due their jobs just fine.”

          If a surgeon killed a patient on the operating table as often as some police in extremely high crime areas were involved in physical altercations, no insurance company would insure them.

          And there are plenty of surgeons who shy away from doing extremely risky procedures on relatively healthy people because of the fear of liability.

          There are costs associated with liability, they’re typically reflected in the cost of insurance premiums, and when premiums for certain procedures go up really high, surgeons and medical professionals try to avoid them. Even insects react to price signals, and the idea that surgeons or cops don’t is absurd.

        3. “Again you are literally arguing that violating peoples rights without accountability is “necessary” to prevent crime.”

          This is coming from voices in your head.

          Cops in high violent crime areas are often required to use physical violence in order to subdue violent suspects in the act of a crime. And just because a cop appropriately uses physical force to subdue an armed robber or a burglar doesn’t mean he did so inappropriately.

          And just because he used appropriate force doesn’t mean the simple majority of a jury won’t find against him by a preponderance of the evidence. After all, appropriate force as defined by seven out of twelve jurors on one civil trial in the same situation may find differently than seven out of twelve jurors on another jury.

          I’m not betting my life savings on that. Why should anyone else?

          Again, if an insurance company refuses to sell a policy to a cop in a certain neighborhood at any price, why should the cop take that risk? He won’t! Some of them will leave the force for less risky jobs elsewhere in the state or country. Others will stay where they are and make sure not to engage with violent criminals unless it’s absolutely necessary.

          And, again, if you think that police reluctance to engage with violent criminals is associated with the same crime rate–in a high crime area–I think you’re nuts. There isn’t anything about knowing the police are less likely to bother you that discourages you from perpetrating a robbery, a burglary, a rape, an assault, a shooting, etc., etc.

          1. “Again you are literally arguing that violating peoples rights without accountability is “necessary” to prevent crime.”

            Are you literally arguing that seven out of twelve jurors can’t be wrong?

    2. that there may not be an insurance company anywhere in America who would sell a cop a liability insurance policy to operate in that neighborhood.

      But all of those cities which host those cops AND the bad neighborhoods have lawsuit insurance right now. So I don’t see how that would ever be an issue.

      1. To the extent that the city carries liability coverage, they also have the ability to collect tax revenue, and a city like Oakland isn’t just taxing the worst neighborhoods. They tax the rest of the city to pay for the liability in the worst parts of Oakland.

        Passing that liability to the individual cop doesn’t make it go away. There are costs associated with that, and they don’t go away because you say the city isn’t compensating them for those costs anymore. The cost may show up as a pay raise high enough to pay for a personal premium, but if that cop’s precinct is in a terrible neighborhood, his liability isn’t spread all over the city. His liability is concentrated in that neighborhood. If no insurance company wants to sell insurance for just that cop in just that neighborhood, and all he has to pay for it is his own salary, then the cop will do what he can to avoid liability.

        I knew someone, once, in the LA County sheriff’s office. He worked in Watts, and his job was to seek out people who didn’t show up for court–back when “three strikes” was real. Plenty of the people he went after in a year were people who had already been convicted of two felonies, and they weren’t going quietly. They’re going away for life and they know it–and his job is to go find them, put them in cuffs and a police car, and bring them to the court to face their accusers. He wouldn’t go into a restaurant unless he could sit with his back to the wall and where he could see everyone as they were coming in through the door–for good reason.

        The chances of him being involved in a violent confrontation on the job in any year are extremely high, and I think an insurance company would be insane to write him a policy at any price he could afford to pay on a sheriff’s salary. And, yet, the victims of crime in that neighborhood really do a have a right to justice. There certainly isn’t anything libertarian about letting violent criminals violate people’s rights with impunity. We’re all about protecting people’s rights.

        There may not be any good reason for city to take on the liability of the average cop in Hermosa Beach, and the Hermosa Beach city council probably has no business offering qualified immunity to its police. What’s true of Hermosa Beach, however, isn’t necessarily true of Compton and Watts.

        1. Ok, so I understand what you are saying. But the *current* situation is also unacceptable. Do you have any suggestions, or are you just saying that this one won’t work? (Which I’m not stupid enough to say is unacceptable, it’s fine to point out the flaws in a plan even if you don’t have a better idea.) Some sort of QI reform seems absolutely necessary to me.

          1. I think it really needs to be handled on a local basis–and it shouldn’t necessarily be inflicted on municipalities by the federal government. There’s no real good reason why suburban San Diego should have the same policies as downtown Detroit or rural North Dakota.

            There probably isn’t a national, one size fits all, solution for local Democrat party machines that write these kinds of policies into the contracts they negotiate with law enforcement unions, either. The way law enforcement unions and other government unions control the primary and nominating process is a disgrace. I don’t think there has been a Republican on the Minneapolis city council in over 50 years. When you have a one-party government like that, you have problems associated with that. People who refuse to vote for anyone that isn’t in one party are definitely part of the problem.

            In a democracy, there is no substitute for voters who will hold their representatives responsible for what happens, regardless of what party they’re in, and if you live in a city where the local government taking on the liability of the police is absolutely necessary in order to protect people from violent criminals, then you should support that. If you’re in a city where that’s really not necessary, then that should be opposed. We’re supposed to hold our city council members responsible for the decisions they make on issues like taxes, spending, and police contracts, and there is no substitute for voters who are willing to do that at the ballot box.

            1. The problem I see there is that QI is a federally imposed policy. It’s a creation of the Supreme Court. There’s no escaping a federal remedy here, that I can see.

              If nothing else you need to have the feds revoke QI and let local governments at whatever level reinstitute it as they are necessary, just to get to the point where what you’re saying can even begin.

  8. there needs to be some QI however can’t we just make it a law that Criminal acts by police does not fall under QI. QI is not meant to protect criminal acts by police but that is how it is being used

    1. Also take away the clause that says no officer was ever prosecuted for this crime hence its not a crime BS

      1. In my opinion, the best outcome would be some sort of SLAPP/Anti-Slapp regime for these types of suits.

        Let them file them, let the defendant file a motion to dismiss — if it’s clearly within the context of their duties summary judgement….
        otherwise we go to trial and let a jury decide.

        You can also have the muni’s layers be responsible for trying to get summary judgement if the muni believes that that the lawsuit is frivolous or that the accused actions were part of regular duties. If they deem otherwise (that the suit has merit), they could inform the defendant that they recommend settling or whatever and let the defendant find their own counsel if they want to defend.

        It’s not that hard to find a middle ground where true frivioulous shit is rejected out of hand but stuff that merits a trial gets one.
        If they can do it for SLAPP they can do it for QI

        1. Sounds reasonable to me

  9. “Tim Scott Is Proposing a Major Reform to Qualified Immunity”

    Sure, Jan!

    1. They should be canceled because they are spreading misinformation, right?

    2. CBS did the same thing with video of the armed 13 year old that got shot.

  10. “Scott, who has served as the Republican leader on police reform talks, is suggesting that the doctrine be pulled back for law enforcement and that liability shift from individual cops to the departments that employ them. As of this writing, it was not immediately clear if the plan would curtail qualified immunity or outright eliminate it. (Qualified immunity protects all public officials, though this move would likely apply solely to police officers.)”

    With politics being the art of the possible, Scott has read the room to learn that doing nothing is no longer possible. Rather than holding those of government accountable to solve the problem and protect private citizens, Scott wants to do something; but he is making sure that his something continues to protect those in government not private citizens. Government always looks out for it own, especially its guards and goons on which its existence depends.

  11. The solution is easy. Ban police departments. There is no reason why a cop has to belong to a department. They can be individual private contractors. That would remove them from the tax trough and show how many people really want them when they have to pay them without getting any help from those who are forced to help pay them.

  12. A much better solution, is to require that cops purchase police liability insurance to compensate their victims, which also goes up in price when cops have a lot of justified complaints, provided the insurance companies have access to the police misconduct records. That essentially means bad cops will end up putting themselves out of business due to their individual’s liability insurance premiums, or at least pay more for their bad behavior.

    Using private insurance companies, who essentially regulate their customers into good practices, is much better than having government solutions forced upon us. Let insurance companies regulate cops, and reform qualified immunity. IMHO, any damage or harm the police cause to innocent people (or even unnecessarily to criminals) should be compensated. It’s bad enough that criminals often never compensate their victims.

    Government’s job it to protect our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness (that includes our property), not to harm us going after criminals. Qualified immunity is a license to harm us.

  13. Qualifies Immunity needs to be reformed, not eliminated. The egregious cases mentioned in the article deserve recourse. However, getting rid of it altogether would flood the courts with frivolous lawsuits by lawyers assessing that the government would settle rather than fight if they relied simply on the math. Do you really want people suing the government because they widened a road and the increase in traffic adversely affected their way of life? Or if a paramedic broke down their door when rescuing them from a heart attack? Or if the fire department ran over their award winning rose when putting out their house fire? There needs to be a system by which qualified immunity can be rolled back on a case by case basis.

  14. How about making police officers carry liability insurance? Cops with too many strikes against them become uninsurable and are conveniently, efficiently ushered out of the force.

    Tim Scott plays Dr. Jekyll to South Carolina’s senior Senator Hyde. Unlike his unprincipled, warmongering hack of a counterpart, Scott seems like a pretty stand-up guy.

  15. What needs to happen is that Body and dash cams need to be open public records that can be viewed by the public at will so public opinion can be better shaped with police video evidence. Technology can pixel people’s naughty bits but the rest is too f’n bad (alright, maybe kid crimes too). Want to involve the state in your business then that is the price you play along with outing 9-1-1 callers. The threat of tyranny outweighs citizen privacy. State is okay trying to out people signing recall and referendum petitions.

    Accountability and transparency for everyone. Rats and junkyard dogs should not be allowed to hide by using citizen privacy as a shield.

    Might just get people to act right by bringing back shame as a deterrent like it did in the day when people were in stocks in the public square for that purpose and citizen awareness.

    How many times have you read a post where the poster states they used to be on the side of cops but not any more after seeing a particular videos. Most people are forming opinions on police out of fear and ignorance.

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