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Qualified Immunity Bill is Needed Step for Improving Policing

Jun 23, 2020 by AFP

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Following Senator Mike Braun’s introduction of the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, Americans for Prosperity-Indiana announced its support of this bill that takes a needed step toward improving policing standards.

AFP-IN State Director Michael Chartier issued the following statement:

“Senator Braun’s quick introduction of legislation to reform qualified immunity is a necessary first step toward achieving greater accountability and trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. For too long, qualified immunity has eroded the trust between the majority of good officers and Hoosiers by shielding some bad officers from being held accountable. Everyone should be equal under the law. We commend Senator Braun for working to increase accountability in the justice system and we’ll work to educate Hoosiers on this issue and mobilize support for this common-sense reform.”

Background:

Qualified immunity is a court-created doctrine that shields the government, including law enforcement agencies, from legal accountability in civil court even when they violate someone’s constitutional rights.

Senator Braun’s bill reforms certain defenses created by courts that have helped unconstitutional acts by the government go without justice, while allowing immunity for individual government actors when their conduct was, at the time, authorized by law or the courts and they reasonably believed their conduct was in line with the Constitution or federal law. The bill also requires state and local governments to be held liable, instead of the individual employee when the employee’s actions were in the scope of their employment. This will incentivize governments to improve training which will reduce the number of civil rights violations in the long run.