As more and more Americans take to the streets in anger over George Floyd’s killing, the calls for transparency, accountability and justice are growing too. But while the officer who killed him has been charged with second-degree murder and faces jail time, one doctrine could easily shield the officers from being held accountable for civil rights violations of excessive force and deny his family the damages they deserve.
The Supreme Court’s judicial activism has made it nearly impossible to hold the government accountable. Instead of protecting the civil rights of Americans, the court decided to shield those who infringe upon them from accountability by granting them “qualified immunity” — a legal doctrine that protects people working under the authority of the government from civil rights lawsuits.
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By Lindsey Marie, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst