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  • Qualified Immunity and the future

    With the elimination of qualified immunity coming to a city or state near you in the not so distant future, what kind of discussions are being had related to protection / malpractice type insurance etc? Are your unions looking into group plans, individual plans, or something else? I have heard of people creating LLCs, putting all their belongings in someone else's name, etc.

    Beyond the "mass exodus" statements I hear from time to time, how do you think this will change the profession? I've seen over the course of my short 12 years in LE that officers are becoming increasingly hesitant to use necessary and reasonable force, often resulting in hesitstion and ultimately more then necessary force being used, and I wonder how the loss of qualified immunity will increase/ change this paradigm, effect hiring, etc.


  • #2
    Well the SCOTUS established QI in Pierson v. Ray. They also addressed how it worked/applied in Bivens and set the current practices in Harlow v. Fitzgerald. So the New York actions are going to be a publicity stunt in the end. QI isn’t a law that gets modified that easy, it’s SCOTUS established rules. SCOTUS is likely to hear QI cases sooner than later because of that, NY doesn’t have the authority to override SCOTUS.

    That being said, still carrying PLI regardless.

    Comment


    • NYCopper
      NYCopper commented
      Editing a comment
      I dont disagree. But it still effects us in practical ways. NYPD cops for example will be sued at the local level and be required to defend themselves up to the Supreme Court (if it even makes it there). That is years and dollars of defense. So while I understand the SCOTUS aspect (which some believe will begin rolling backwards as well), cities and states can certainly make our lives pretty uncomfortable in the short term.

  • #3
    Originally posted by jwnagle View Post
    Well the SCOTUS established QI in Pierson v. Ray. They also addressed how it worked/applied in Bivens and set the current practices in Harlow v. Fitzgerald. So the New York actions are going to be a publicity stunt in the end. QI isn’t a law that gets modified that easy, it’s SCOTUS established rules. SCOTUS is likely to hear QI cases sooner than later because of that, NY doesn’t have the authority to override SCOTUS.

    That being said, still carrying PLI regardless.
    What PLI do you carry? I've never carried any, and am curious if that is something I should begin to consider? Our PBA / union has been mute on the point as of late.

    Comment


  • #4
    Retirement. Let the animals eat each other.

    Comment


    • NYCopper
      NYCopper commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't have the time yet...but i envy those who do.
      Last edited by NYCopper; 03-27-2021, 05:23 PM.

    • Aidokea
      Aidokea commented
      Editing a comment
      I am SO very thankful to be retired. This is not a good time to be a cop in the U.S.S.A....

  • #5
    Refuse to respond to any call in progress. Take only cold reports. That’s the future/now.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • NYCopper
      NYCopper commented
      Editing a comment
      Thats kind of where I see it going. The new "Fire Dept" model...

    • CCCSD
      CCCSD commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep. Citizens want it. That’s what they get.

    • Kraut0783
      Kraut0783 commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't refuse calls in progress, just make sure you arrive safely, sometimes it takes a bit longer to arrive on time...safety first =)

    • not.in.MY.town
      not.in.MY.town commented
      Editing a comment
      Have all parties sign a liability waiver before you do anything.

  • #6
    Call your supervisor to the scene for direction. They love that.
    Following procedure to the letter usually stops all police work.

    Comment


    • #7
      Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine and not a legislative one. I'm not a lawyer but I would be willing to bet money that QI isn't going anywhere, and will win out its first challenge in a state that legislatively 'stops' it.

      The thing about QI is it isn't a police specific thing. It applies to all government employees. Which is why it isn't going anywhere.

      A way to look at many things that arise between legal and legislative bodies is what would the inverse be, a 'test' of theories of sorts. So we have a place that says a cop doing everything correct, by the book, and within legal boundaries is subject to being sued. What's the inverse? If a place passed a law that said cops CAN'T be sued even if they did everything wrong, violated people's rights, and were well outside the legal boundaries of law, do you think that piece of legislation would survive judicial review?
      UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
      "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


      honor first

      Comment


      • NYCopper
        NYCopper commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with you that there is a plethora of legal problems that will be hashed out, and that hopefully we will come out on top. But to play devils advocate- what happens to the cop that gets sued next week in NYC, where the local judges as following local ordinances and allow him to be sued. While he may eventually win after appealing to the state level, what will it cost him in the meantime? Who is gonna pay for the lawyer and the defense?

        Or play it out like a cop that gets arrested for a justified/ legal shooting, but gets arrested by a local, activist DA. He may be found not guilty in the end, but not before his name is dragged through the mud and it costs him his job and everything he has. I guess my point is - even in a world with qualified immunity, we are moving into a time where it may make sense to think more about defending/ hiding your assets more seriously -- and since we are in the "law enforcement job center forum" - new kids joining up should seriously consider where this profession is at - and where it is going.

    • #8
      Time for all Police officers to unionize.

      Comment


      • Aidokea
        Aidokea commented
        Editing a comment
        What cops aren't unionized?

      • Kraut0783
        Kraut0783 commented
        Editing a comment
        Texas, we have associations, but no unions. No contracts or bargaining...etc.

      • NYCopper
        NYCopper commented
        Editing a comment
        28 Right to work States dont possess real unions...

      • Aidokea
        Aidokea commented
        Editing a comment
        Yikes! That sucks.

        So if you arrest a Karen that knows your brass, you can get fired?

    • #9
      Deleted.....

      Comment


      • #10
        Originally posted by BNWS View Post
        Time for all Police officers to unionize.
        NC LEOs cannot collective-bargain by state law.

        Comment


        • #11
          When I saw the headline about NYC stopping QI for LE, my thought was what would then stop Judges from the same fate? What if a Judge could be personally sued because a person did not like the outcome of a case? What about a Prosecutor/DA also losing QI for bringing a case against, aka harassing, a defendant?

          Its a heck of a spiral down the toilet. I can't see a reasonable Judge siding against QI because their fate would come next. As stated above, this will take years to sort out in the courts. My guess is the courts will ultimately narrow QI somehow to please the masses.

          Comment


          • #12
            Originally posted by wildstar82 View Post

            NC LEOs cannot collective-bargain by state law.
            Why? Sue the state. Anti union bias. Racism.
            Now go home and get your shine box!

            Comment


            • #13
              How about victims being able to sue district attorneys for not prosecuting? Seems like a lot of that type of activism lately. If they remove it from one part of the criminal justice system why not all.

              Comment


              • #14
                Nope. Only QI covering LE is removed. Judges and DAs are still covered. THATS why it will fly.
                Now go home and get your shine box!

                Comment


                • #15
                  Judges and prosecutors have absolute immunity, not qualified immunity.

                  Comment

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