March 26, 2021 will go down in the annals of New York City’s history books. The city council there voted to end qualified immunity for police officers. This is the first major city in the United States to take such action.
This legal doctrine of Qualified Immunity has protected police officers from lawsuits when someone alleges misconduct against those being detained or arrested. This does not apply though when a officer violates a well-known and clearly established law or right under the U.S. constitution (An example of which would be the alleged [trial pending] actions by Officer Derek Chauvin in the George Floyd case).
I believe that four major events will start to transpire immediately:
- There will be very limited applicants for police officers in the city of New York.
- Current police officers will bring a different temperament to work and how they actually speak and interact with the public.
- There will be a definite increase in the number of civil suits against police officers.
- This policy will spread to other major cities throughout the United States during the next year.
The mayor will almost definitely sign this legislation and then you will see a major shift in policing practices and policies in New York City.