Qualified immunity is designed to protect all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law. Law enforcement officers are entitled to qualified immunity when their actions do not violate a clearly established statutory or constitutional right.

LL in harness, a few years ago.

Qualified immunity is a judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable from for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate “clearly established” law. And Colorado just removed that protection from the police. Other states are expected to follow.

Removing qualified immunity from police and sheriffs means that they can be sued for everything they do – personally – and that they must defend themselves, paying legal fees out of pocket.

So either cities/counties/states buy malpractice insurance at great cost to the taxpayer, or officers will quit or will just not show up until the drama ends and they’ll take reports.

Practically, what these governors and civic leaders are assuring you is that your taxes will go way up. And insurance vendors will likely make out like bandits. But the public is too stupid to grasp this. They expect that they’re injuring the officers personally and are doing that with glee. It’s like shooting yourself in the groin and then admiring the work.

45 COMMENTS

  1. well, that’s it then. the end of civil society is all but assured now. nobody worth a darn is going to put their life on the line for that.

    • No, nobody will. Massively expensive malpractice insurance will replace qualified immunity, and then, I predict, they will go back to qualified immunity.

    • Civil society, you say? The civility in society has been disappearing since the 1960s. Qualified Immunity was a response to that. Now we have a new response. That response, ignoring for the moment the professional agitators, the abuse of QI whether from the police departments or the District Attorneys. If only those institutions would police themselves better. Those abuses may be rare but try to tell that to that person who has their life destroyed – if they weren’t killed outright – by a PD, DA, and crooked judge.

      However, the onus has been and is on the people. The incivility and the ever greater violence of the criminal has induced the police to find new protections. It is truly a condition of you reap what you sow. Most of us do conduct our daily affairs in a responsible manner. The main problem is we are all in the same boat with the cutthroat. We’re sinking and he sees it as opportunity to relieve the others of that they cherish.

      What this present condition in society demands is the peaceable among us take a new, more profound stand against the uncivil and the criminal. Our tolerance has been exploited by those who intend to do harm.

      Nehemiah had a plan to defeat the miscreants intent upon destruction as he set to rebuild the walls. Here is our example.

    • No.

      But they are so morally superior to you, so guided by revolutionary zeal to destroy, that thinking things through is a roadblock to success that they don’t have time to indulge in.

    • Yes, they do think things through. Absolutely. The “commies”, of the theoretician type at any rate, are very intelligent people. Twisted by resentment, neuroticism, and paranoia, but smart. Not wise, but clever. The people on the street, and 90% of the leftist politicians however do NOT think things through. But they’re just useful idiots. Cattle, if you will, whose only purpose is to serve (or test) the only people who really matter.

      This no qualified immunity business is not due to shortsightedness or foolishness. It is deliberate and calculated enemy action.

      • Yes, it’s enemy action designed to destroy the police forces in the USA.
        Matthew 28: 25-30 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

        • Long before the current idiocy from the commie, I was developing the sense that qualified immunity should go away. Why? Two reasons.

          SCOTUS, the inventor of QI, through complex machinations decided there must be precedence to establish that an officer acted outside of policy, i.e., acted improperly. Yet how can there be precedence where none is given as precedence? Does that sentence confuse you? It does me, but that is how SCOTUS set it up.

          Secondly, when an officer tosses a flash bang through a curtained window and the device lands in a baby crib which results in the disfigurement of the baby, did the officer act properly? Yes, said the courts and the investigations. Yet how in the hell can this be? Who else could act so carelessly – although without malice – and not be held accountable. Those in a real theater of war have been held to higher standards!

          There are too many similar accounts where the lives of peaceable persons have been dealt serious harm, even fatal injuries all because the police entered the wrong home or acted without the level of care which is expected of them have near carte blanche permission under warrantless searches or civil asset forfeiture.

          I am not opposed to law enforcement however I have learned to be wary of them. That is a learned response. At the heart of it, I blame the people and society in general. Maybe we should just shoot the criminals on sight or wherever they are found. I wrestle with that because I am serious about that but I am more serious about the people turning back to God.

    • The Worse, The Better.
      -Attributed to Vladimir Lenin

      The belief that as life becomes harder and more chaotic, the people will turn to the strong control of the Communist Party to save them.

  2. Most police are OK. My local sheriffs are great. Police have a problem though. Because they are a “tribe”, any misconduct by any of them reflects on ALL of them AS A TRIBE- so getting rid of the abusive is to their best advantage, but it seems only the egregious cases have any sort of real consequence.

    Stopping the damned no knock warrants, and ditching the asset forfeiture (AKA stealing) and getting rid of the thugs who get off on intimidating people for kicks would be a good start.

    • Asset forfeiture moved from a well reasoned practice in the early days to a type of greed and insanity. I suggest that IF there is to be civil forfeiture, that it not go to pay overtime and the department’s bottom line. It must be donated to feed the poor, or to mend the lame, or toward some noble cause. When law enforcement is enabled to “keep what you kill” – a line from the movie “Riddick”, the trouble begins.

      No knock warrants were instituted when drugs were illegal and people would flush them. In many states narcotics are all but legal in use quantities. Sales quantities can’t be flushed easily (to promote ‘meth gators’ in the South). So eliminating those are really no loss to law enforcement.

      Requiring a BA or higher, which requires the would-be officer to attend college TENDS to moderate those who are, or who would be thugs. I don’t think that it can ever be completely eliminated, but make the job (through pay and education) valuable enough to the person that they don’t want to lose it. When you can make more money driving a tow truck – you get fired and can do that, if you take my point. I realize that many areas of the US have a far lower pay standard than others, but if you want to solve the problem, that is, at the very least, a place to start.

      Require all police shootings to be investigated by the district attorney or the state attorney general for criminal conduct.

        • That’s precisely part of the problem. When traffic citations are used as revenue coupons, the police aren’t doing police work.

          • Urban areas in NJ are funded mostly by ticket revenue sharing by the NJ State Police. This became known back in ’05 when they went on “strike” to protest being smacked for “profiling” drivers. First half of that year they wrote virtually no tickets. Cities and town were about to go bankrupt.

            The local media types were puzzled as to why the roads got safer, according to the government’s own data. Sort of obvious: When your enemy stays off the field, you stop looking for them, and can pay more attention to what you are doing. Like, watching the road and the traffic around you. People don’t realize how much of their focus is directed to seeing police vehicles. They are an enemy to your wallet.

            BTW, NJ has the highest concentration of police radar in the nation, if not the world. I was there for that six month period, and it was relaxing to not have to worry about the cops. Of course, as soon as they went back to work, the crash numbers went back to “normal”.

        • That was what Ferguson Missouri was trying to do.
          IIRC, Half their city revenues came from traffic citations.
          When you are middle class, it is a pain in the ass.
          When you are working poor, it is devastating, and most will not pay the original ticket, resulting in penalties, warrants, and even more fines. Get areested, and you may lose your job too.

          It is also a good way to turn nominally law abiding citizens against the police. It isn’t quite as blatant as the knights of old stealing the peasant’s grain, and raping his daughters, but it hurts.

      • The initial (P)regressive introduced legislation was, as expected, their wet dream. Since they only have a one seat advantage in the Senate, considerable “bi-partisan” negotiation watered it down. In the past, enough Senators have refused to attend a session resulting in not having enough a$$holes present for a quorum.

        In response, in my county, the Sheriff has asked the County Commissioners to reduce the cost of a CC permit to as low as possible.

        A group is working hard to place on the 2022 ballot a measure to make Weld County part of Wyoming. I’m not sure Wyoming wants us.

  3. Just for reference, in my last police job, we had a number of attorneys working at the grunt level. They understood the law as did the non-lawyers on the department. When you professionalize, you also have FAR FEWER lawsuits. So the money that the government pays out in that way drops precipitously. But you have to pay your people or they’ll work somewhere else as lawyers or as accountants, or as professionals.

  4. So if a state abolishes qualified immunity, does that mean legislators and other state employees can also be held personally liable for the consequences of their actions? I would love to see some of these dingbat legislators held personally accountable for their actions. I’m sure they would exempt themselves though

  5. Jared Polis, along with his Lefty Dem lackeys at the Statehouse, are warp speed turning Colorado into California. The rest of us normals are pretty frosted, and now this. It’ll backfire on legislators, none of whom lost a nickel during the Covid hoax. (Funny that)

    • You didn’t expect that they would suffer in the slightest bit financially. “Never let a good crisis go to waste” is the mantra of the progressive left.

      • Didn’t…odd how few have taken them to task for that (Oh, yeah, gov’t is essential…we – who pay their salary’s – are not. (Not sure how that stays afloat. But since they’re a lot smarter than the rest of us maybe they’ve already figured that into the diminishing return perpetual motion machine.)

        More likely they are suffering fools as they watch the peons chase their tails in fear.

  6. Speaking of “never let a good crisis go to waste” has anyone heard anything about how the pallets of bricks showed up all over the country just in time for the rioters to come & use them?

    • I had read an article that a town in TX, maybe Sugarland?, prohibited citizens from voluntarily removing a pallet of bricks. Then I saw a separate video on YT which showed city crews prohibiting removal of said bricks.

      In all the articles I read, I was surprised that there were no witnesses to come forward with respect how the bricks got there. A forklift isn’t necessary, a couple of guys could stack a pallet of bricks in a few minutes. But no witnesses? Anywhere? I’ll bet my bottom dollar someone was running interference while others placed the bricks. It was planned and executed. I even saw several pallets beneath a highway over pass. Nearby construction, yeah, right.

    • I saw a FB post where somebody ran to the pallet, ripped off the shipping label, and researched it.

      I’d look for it, but FB “search” sucks, and they probably Orwelled the original post…

      • At the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Minnesota riots, the media reported stories of cars without license plates being used by Antifa to ferry around their work crews. They could hit several areas in a few hours, creating havoc, tying up large numbers of police at the difference vandalism, looting, and arson scenes.

        When the Governor FINALLY* brought in enough National Guard and State Police to stabilize the cities on Saturday May 30, the police could actually chase down these cars, but then the occupants all bailed out. One TV Station (WCCO?) actually had a reporter live at the scene of one of these no license plate cars, so they were not just urban legends.

        Next time Antifa will probably use stolen or expired plates to blend in better. But the hidden VIN will still make them traceable.

        *If the entire 13,000 MN NG wasn’t enough, he was going to have the SD, ND, IA, and WI NG show up too. Anything to keep PDT and the US Military out of Minnesota.

  7. The concept of “qualified immunity”, like MANY concepts sounds good on paper and was created with good intentions. And like most such ideas it was abused, contorted, perverted and mutated into something totally different from original intent. It’s now used to justify the most heinous, abusive, evil misconduct and often criminal violations. When a DA WILLFULLY maliciously prosecutes someone they KNOW is innocent and hides exculpatory evidence so that their victim suffers he hauls out “qualified immunity” as his defense when said criminal misconduct is exposed. When a police officer KNOWINGLY commits a violent and often illegal action upon an innocent civilian, again…. it’s “Qualified Immunity” that is the doctrine used to prevent the officer from being held accountable for a willful action. It shifts the costs of making someone whole away from the guilty party and onto the TRULY innocent….the taxpayer. As stated…..It was a good idea that was TOTALLY misused and abused. Those now fearing the loss of protection from “Qualified Immunity” are the people whose actions make it necessary to end the concept.

    • All I do is point out cause and likely effect.

      Most police departments are badly managed. Most police officers suffer far more stress from upper echelons than they do from the work itself.

      If the public wants to dump qualified immunity and doesn’t offer malpractice insurance (at staggering cost), I don’t personally care, but if you live in a city, you might. Maybe form a vigilante group to protect the lives and property in your neighborhood and travel heavy when you leave the neighborhood compound. The vigilante option is on the table, but best not to stand alone, particularly at night, or to subject your family to jeopardy while you’re away. You (the collective ‘you’) can do the job of the police ex-officio. Of course, if you do it wrong, you’ll be sued.

    • If policy makers had good intentions, then as soon as politicians saw their laws didn’t work out in practice like they had imagined they would rush in saying ‘stop, stop, that’s going wrong, we have to try something else’.

      [ 60 second pause while readers search their memories for even one time policymakers did a U-turn after the earliest signs of harm ]

      Good intentions are what we use to make moral decisions about policies until empirical performance data from time in use becomes available. Today we have empirical performance data about all sorts of policies from thousands of years of recorded human history. Why do you still accept a claim of good intentions as deserving of obedience?

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