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Bill would end qualified immunity for New York law enforcement

Jun 04, 2021 12:04 pm

Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union that New York lawmakers are considering a bill to end qualified immunity for police. New York City has already ended the shield for police accused of misconduct. “What qualified immunity does is it protects officers who violate the constitution,” said Alex Reinert, a professor at Cardozo Law School and scholar of the doctrine. “If an officer violates my constitutional rights, I will not have a remedy against that officer unless there was prior case law that made it clear that it was a violation of my constitutional rights.” State Senator Robert Jackson and Assembly member Pamela Hunter are advocating for a bill that “provides a civil action for deprivation of rights which is caused by any person or public entity.” But the bill is currently in committee and the 2021 legislative session ends next week. Hunter says the bill has one message. “You — government entity, municipality — are solely responsible for the actions of your officials, and you are fiscally responsible for damages if something happens," she said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.