The limitations of qualified immunity for police officers have always been a hot topic in United States. The concept of qualified immunity is known as a form of defense for government officials as well as for police officers when they are sued for infringing citizens’ constitutional rights.
Citizens need to be aware that only individuals are able to declare qualified immunity against proceedings, not governments. If ever they sue both the police officers and government, then they can still claim fiscal reclamation from the government even though the police officer won his case in regards to qualified immunity.
If a police officer committed a grave crime, qualified immunity will not shield him from the charges he deserves. Even with both of these circumscriptions, the benefits of qualified immunity for police officers indeed protect them, causing several incommodities to our society.
Immunity can be constantly abused by police officers. Due to this powerful term, violence can be justified, making the people who were hurt not receive their fair justice. Every time an individual files a claim on an officer for his excessive force, the first defense that he has would be his right of immunity.
In our society, immunity is counterproductive as it causes more violence than peace. According to previous statistics, many colored people were targeted by police officers, especially unarmed African or Black Americans. We could see discrimination play in these detestable situations as the majority white officers perceive the African Americans as diabolical and monstrous criminals. With this perspective, the police gain more power as the black community is degraded and imprisoned, a cycle as old as time itself.
Several people argue that instead of regulating police officers, why not remove them completely? Well, although there are numerous officers who are corrupt, we need them as a source of protection too. The perfect epitome of a police department is one that the people trust due to their integrity and professionalism. Furthermore, they are able to control their force and have a better strategy in dealing crimes, one that hurts both the perpetrator and the victim less.
As a person who grew up with moral values, I have always seen domestic violence as a major problem that needs to fully stop. With qualified immunity present, police officers tend to not care about this worldwide epidemic, making domestic violence a type of otherization.
Domestic violence is defined as a physical or sexual abuse of other individuals and it can affect anyone no matter what their age, race, religion, or gender. The three main reasons why this occurs are stress, alcohol, or implied behavior. However, there can be various reasons why this dreadful problem occur in a wide gamut of range. The major concerns that deal with domestic violence are emotional abuse, physical abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse. This issue intensifies when the perpetrators of abuse happen to be the same police officers one would call for help, who then go on to dodge their charges on the bases of immunity.
What infuriates me is the fact that the first line of defense the police officers would use in the court is qualified immunity. Although they were the one who committed a grave crime, there’s still a huge leeway for them to escape. If the bases for qualified immunity for officers were limited, then the people’s constitutional rights would be violated less, giving justice to those who deserve it.
Featured Image via National Review