End Qualified Immunity for Police? Question of the Day

Police officers outside a Victorian style house (courtesy ammoland.com)

In the essay below, Rob Morse argues that the qualified immunity from prosecution enjoyed by American police officers poses a threat to public safety, leading cops to treat possible threats as lethal threats, leading to unnecessary loss of innocent life. Agree to disagree?

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-  Innocent civilians are at risk from the police. We’ve had egregious examples in recent months. This is how we can fix these broken police policies, and this is why it’s urgent . . .

The police receive a report of a crime in progress. The report is a lie. The person on the phone with the police has made about 20 false reports. The police arrive at your home. It is the middle of the night and you hear yelling from outside.

You walk outside to see what is going on. Voices from the darkness say they are the police. Multiple police officers give commands. The police are approximately 35 yards from you. You can’t see them or the police cars.  All you see are bright lights and you hear voices. One policeman loses sight of one of your hands. Since you might be going for a weapon, you’re shot dead by police. (This happened in Kansas.)

You hear a knock at the door in the middle of the night. You aren’t expecting anyone. You are a law abiding gun owner without a criminal record. You walk to the door armed. That is what self-defense experts, and even some police officers, suggest you do in this situation.

A policeman sees you through the sidelights.  He is outside your home and you are inside. The policeman sees your gun and shoots you dead. You never made it to the door. (This happened in Florida.)

These and similar incidents illustrate a dangerous pattern. The police treat possible threats as lethal threats. They then kill unarmed and innocent civilians without warning. The murder is often preceded by a lethal game of simon-says where the police issue commands until the innocent civilian makes a mistake and is killed. In several fatal examples, there were no actual threats of any kind to the police officers involved.

We are in this situation because of qualified immunity. Qualified Immunity is a legal defense where government officials are held harmless if they followed established procedures. Ordinary citizens do not have this legal immunity. You and I would be held criminally negligent if we did what the police do. We are lucky to have a cure.

We use simulators to train law enforcement when to shoot and when not to shoot. This reality based training is extremely useful in exposing weaknesses in police policy and in officer training. Now we can use these simulators to fix broken police procedures, but with a twist. We need to put a few civilians through the simulators, not the police.

We have many recordings of officers arresting civilians. We know what they say. We want to expose ordinary citizens to these simulations and capture the results as the citizens respond.

By ordinary citizens I mean Walmart shoppers. We want to test the people most likely to come in contact with the police. Let’s record how they respond with flashing lights, loud noise and conflicting unexpected commands. There are many use-of-force instructors who can look at the multiple videos and tally-up the number of times these innocent citizens would have been shot by police who were “just following procedures”. How many innocent civilians should we sacrifice? One out of a million, or one out of five?

“Just following procedures” sounds too much like “just following orders” to me, but I could be wrong. The reality based simulations will show us. They will establish how many civilians are shot while officers are “just following accepted police procedures”. Police agencies might not generate and release this data but you can be sure that lawyers representing the dead person’s family certainly will.

We don’t have to guess if police procedures are safe and effective. We can measure them.

If your city council thought that training and testing is expensive, wait until they see what jury verdicts cost. Although “procedures” are the basis for qualified immunity, those procedures can, are, and will be challenged in court by plaintiffs’ lawyers through expert testimony.

Lawyers will try to show that the police didn’t follow their own procedures and that the procedures as taught are not best practice. Police training departments MUST keep up with any new trends, from “non/less-lethal weapons to new verbal techniques in dealing with suspects, bystanders, and even pet dogs.


About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article is here.  Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

comments

  1. avatar rosignol says:

    End qualified immunity AND require police unions to take out the insurance polices that cover settlements due to police misconduct, not municipalities. Making the local government pay for it screws the people living their twice- they get bad cops, and they get taxed to cover the insurance policy. If the union is going to protect bad cops, the union should be paying for their screwups.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Dude, the people pay for it either way. It’s not magically not the people’s money if it’s laundered through the union. Let the cops pay for their own malpractice insurance.

      Anyway the unions should be eliminated entirely. Government employees should never have a union.

      1. avatar Michael Clark says:

        Police are under attack every day and scrutinized by the end results mercilessly. Also any officer trying to ask information on a potential crime is treated with hostility understandably so but keep in mind this is their job. Police must train better, but ordinary people must not lose their shit when the press falsely interpret the event. Also consider that assholes lie to them on a daily basis, and police more times than not catch people at their worst all day long in the line of duty. The press would rather sit on their pedestal and demand justice when they are just as blind as the people reading their crap stories. The police should be better trained to include stress inoculation.

        1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          ” . . . but ordinary people must not lose their shit when the press falsely interpret the event. . . ”

          Oh, yeah? Like what? Not to put too fine a point on things but it’s kinda hard to argue about an innocent citizen getting killed because he moved his hands the “wrong” way or tried to pull up his pants as he was needlessly told to crawl along a floor.

        2. avatar billy-bob says:

          All of that may well be true, but does not justify a cop shooting a homeowner through his door from outside the home. The cop should suffer the justice the rest of us would receive from the system, not get off scot free because ‘it’s all about making it home’ at the end of the shift.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Uuuhhh, like I didn’t know cops were drafted into service. Somehow thought it was a voluntary thing.

      2. avatar Hunter427 says:

        Your idea would be great, I totally agree with you. But no one in their right mind would take the job, so you need a better idea. Higher standard and more training. Liberals lowered all the standard 20 year ago and this is the results

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Your idea would be great, I totally agree with you. But no one in their right mind would take the job, …. ”

          Then nobody in their right mind would carry a firearm for protection. How is it that everyday people can “afford” to carry firearms for personal defense, but cops need all sorts of additional protection? A private citizen in a self-defense situation faces every risk a cop faces. Why do we provide more protection for our employees than we have for ourselves?

    2. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

      Let’s get to the real issue. Get rid of the police. Serve and protect has become harass and collect (this is partially a side effect of too many laws). There is no legal obligation to protect anyone. The US Supreme Court has made that clear many times. We did not have a gun control problem until we tried to subcontract our self protection to police agents around the year 1900. Sheriffs and their deputies have the proper role of arresting the surviving criminals and holding them for trial.

  2. avatar anarchyst says:

    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job. You can bet that insurance companies would be more diligent in weeding out the “bad apples” than our present system…
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers. As it stands now an abusive police officer can get a job with another department, continuing the abusive behavior.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned from 48 to 72 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    13 “Asset forfeiture” is a form of “legalized robbery under color of law” and must be abolished. We must return to Constitutional principles when it comes to “crimefighting”. The so-called “war on drugs” is actually a “war on the citizenry” and has had an extremely corrosive effect on the Constitutional principles that our country is (supposed to be) founded on.
    14. “No-knock” raids must be abolished as they put both police and (especially citizens) in harms way. Even the Nazis “knocked on the door” before gaining entry.
    15. SWAT teams must be reigned in on their “dynamic entry techniques”. Utilizing SWAT teams for routine situations is dangerous to both police and citizens. Smashing everything in sight “just because they can”, blaming it on an “adrenaline rush” must end. There is NEVER a reason for destroying property.
    16. The “21 foot rule” must be modified or abolished. American police training assumes that ANYONE that gets within 21 feet of a police officer and is deemed a threat, even a non-life-threatening situation is “fair game” for the use of lethal force. Persons with rakes, sticks, knives, or even their fists have been executed, even when non-lethal means would have been more appropriate. Police hide behind the “21 foot rule” in order to justify questionable police shootings. Their “excuse”, when brought before a prosecutor or grand jury is “that is the way they are trained”. THAT has to change. Police have a greater responsibility NOT to use deadly force against those that they could easily subdue by other means.
    17. Clear and concise “rules of engagement” must be established for ALL American law enforcement personnel. Any deviation from these rules must be severely punished. It is interesting to note that American military veterans in combat zones operate under more restrictive “rules of engagement” than American “law enforcement”. In fact, American “law enforcement” operates under NO “rules of engagement”. They have total “carte blanche” to destroy whoever they want. THAT has to change…
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with the majority of police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Well said, and you are absolutely correct about the ROEs for military and law enforcement. That’s always the point I harp on the most, because there is something DEEPLY wrong with a situation where an 18 year old kid, barely out of high school and stuck in an active warzone in a 3rd world country or a failed state is somehow held MORE accountable when they kill the wrong person than a 30 year old patrolling the largely peaceful streets of a wealthy, first world nation.

      We ask a lot from the men and women of our military. Extremely young people put into incredibly difficult situations, AND THEY DELIVER. Hell or high water, they meet or exceed out expectations. And yet, cowardly cops get a pass because, “oh, it’s a dangerous, difficult job. Waaaah!” Fvck off. People far younger than you get put into far more trying situations, and handle themselves with far more grace than you could. As the saying goes, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. I play with concrete for a living. It’s a very difficult job that not everyone can do. If I were to screw up badly enough to cause someone else do die, you think my boss would give me a pass? “Hey, um… I know I screwed up big time, but this is a tough job, so I get a pass right?” HELL NO. He’s gonna say, “If you can’t do your job, than get the fvck out of my sight and I’ll find someone who can”. This attitude NEEDS to apply to cops too.

      Name me one other industry where severe failure is not only tolerated, but accepted on the basis of something being a tough job. Only one I can think of is “journalism” (scare quotes because I don’t want to lump the current state in with the phenomenal journalism that used to exist, i.e. Woodward and Bernstein), and that’s not an industry model anyone with two brain cells to rub together should want to follow.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      “Asset forfeiture” is a form of “legalized robbery under color of law” and must be abolished. We must return to Constitutional principles when it comes to “crimefighting”. The so-called “war on drugs” is actually a “war on the citizenry” and has had an extremely corrosive effect on the Constitutional principles that our country is (supposed to be) founded on.

      YES. You can lay today’s problems with policing squarely on the “war on drugs.” That has been the worst thing to happen to the US since the Civil War. Basically, our government is engaged in a shadow war against its own people.

    3. avatar Tom forrest says:

      Lying to the police is not a criminal offense as long as the lie is not a criminal complaint against someone else.

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        Not true. Making a false statement to a police officer IS punishable by law in most, if not all states.
        Regards

    4. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      Police officers should be fired for turning off a bodycam, and then arrested and prosecuted for obstructing justice.

  3. avatar anarchyst says:

    Part of the problem is the militarization and the Israeli training that today’s American cops receive. We are all Palestinians, now…
    Police officers are the only group that can LIE to elicit false confessions, utilizing “bad cop good cop” routines, badgering suspects, making them uncomfortable for long periods of time, getting them to admit to falsehoods, just to get away from the incessant questioning.
    Police officers are the only group that can murder someone by falsely claiming that “they feared for their lives”, have 48 to 72 hours to “get their stories straight”, and have a union lawyer and compliant prosecutor-steered “grand jury” absolve them of responsibility.
    Police demand immediate compliance (Israeli-style)–with two or three cops issuing and yelling out conflicting commands, it is easy to see how a person under police control could lose his life for merely attempting to follow conflicting directions.

    1. avatar Walt Longmire says:

      We’re not trying to murder them and destroy them on a regular basis.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        But if they choose to treat us like we are, that’s fine with the prosecutors and judges.

        It’s not that most cops will murder you for fun, the problem is that they all have that option, and some of them abuse it.

  4. avatar anarchyst says:

    Here are “police” practices that deserve to be exposed:

    #1. During a traffic stop, the police officer will touch the back of your car. The reason for this “touch” is that, quite often, the police officer will have a small quantity of narcotics (marijuana or cocaine) on him (in his hand) that he will rub on the car in order to help “justify a search”. When the dog is brought in, it will react to “cues” from its handler as well as the drug residue on the vehicle and help “justify a search”. This tactic is mostly used against young people. Drugs can also be “planted” on a “suspect”.
    The “touch” used to be a way for police officers to “prove” that they had an interaction with a citizen, but no more . . .

    #2. Most (if not all) cops possess a “throwdown” weapon. This “helper” is obtained from a criminal who is then “let go” without his weapon and is always used to justify a questionable police situation and to “sanitize” a “crime scene to absolve police on the scene of criminal police behavior.

    #3. If you are in the back of a police car, LIE DOWN on the seat. Police use the concept of “screening” to abuse their unwilling “passenger”. This involves, driving at high rates of speed, violent turns and other antics to get the passenger to “hit the screen” separating the front from the back with his face. Hence the act of “screening”.

    #4. If you are being handcuffed, quite often the police officer will wrench you arm behind you, forcing you to “turn around”. Another “trick” is a foot to the instep, forcing the individual to involuntarily “pull away”. The officer will then add a charge of “assault” to whatever other charges they concoct against you (just for being forced to turn around). They “pile on” charges, hoping you will plead guilty to at least one.

    Remember–NEVER CONSENT TO SEARCH . . . You must be polite, but firm in your refusal. You can state that “you NEVER consent to searches” as well as using these “magic” words–“am I free to go?” The police officer MUST answer your question . . . If you are being detained and an illegal search takes place, you have legal recourse.

    Remember–police are not your friends . . .

    That being said, not all “law enforcement” personnel are criminal, but the “thin blue line” that they so jealously guard (and “look the other way” when rogue cops abuse their authority) does much to taint ALL “law enforcement” personnel with having ulterior motives.

    1. avatar Hondo says:

      anarchyst….YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT!

      1) Police Officers are taught to touch the back of vehicles and leave their finger prints on traffic stops. If they are shot or injured and the driver flees, the suspect vehicle can be identified later during the criminal investigation. We don’t rub cocaine on our hands so we can place traces on a car. Most officers wear gloves while searching and doing drug investigations because there are drugs out there that can cause death by just touching them!

      2) I worked for a 700 man department and never knew any officer in possession of a “Throw down Weapon” ..I think you are watching too much TV in your mom’s basement!!

      3) “Screening”….only used to make the “Perp” quit spitting at you and sit back and behave!

      4) When you are under arrest You have the right to remain SILENT and so does the Officer…He doesn’t have to answer any of the “Arrestee’s” questions

      Yes there are bad officers….I had to fire 2 that worked for me and we did a good job of weeding out others…. I would say that the percentage of criminal officers where I worked (Southeastern state) is less than 1%!

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        If it’s less than 1%, it is still 1% too much…
        NO cop will admit to possessing a “throwdown” weapon…it’s a unofficial “insurance policy” to be used to “sanitize” a questionable crime scene.
        As to police officers not being required to answer questions, you are wrong. A police officer MUST answer a contactees question “Am I under arrest” and “am I free to go”.

        1. avatar Hondo says:

          “NO cop will admit to possessing a “throwdown” weapon…it’s a unofficial “insurance policy” to be used to “sanitize” a questionable crime scene.
          As to police officers not being required to answer questions, you are wrong. A police officer MUST answer a contactees question “Am I under arrest” and “am I free to go”.

          You are a Moron! Maybe where you come from every Cop has a “Throw Down” Where I come from it doesn’t happen!! I guess you get all your information off of the “Anarchist” chat rooms you post on in your Mom’s Basement! Go back and read what I said about answering questions…Cops don’t have to answer any questions that an Arrestee has (Arrestee means they are under Arrest Snowflake).

        2. avatar anarchyst says:

          Hondo, YOU are the one who stated that a cop does not have to answer a contactee’s question, and now you change your story, so which is it?
          Your name-calling exposes you as someone who is unable to make a cogent (counter) argument.
          Regards

        3. avatar Hondo says:

          Anarchist…..you must be just plain STUPID I guess. For the 3rd time….if I arrest you I don’t have to answer any questions you ask me. If you are not under Arrest you are of course free to go…and I will let you know when you are free to go…no need for you to ask!

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        anarchyst….FLAME DELETED

        1) Police Officers are taught to touch the back of vehicles and leave their finger prints on traffic stops. If they are shot or injured and the driver flees, the suspect vehicle can be identified later during the criminal investigation. We don’t rub cocaine on our hands so we can place traces on a car. Most officers wear gloves while searching and doing drug investigations because there are drugs out there that can cause death by just touching them!

        2) I worked for a 700 man department and never knew any officer in possession of a “Throw down Weapon” ..I think you are watching too much TV in your mom’s basement!!

        3) “Screening”….only used to make the “Perp” quit spitting at you and sit back and behave!

        4) When you are under arrest You have the right to remain SILENT and so does the Officer…He doesn’t have to answer any of the “Arrestee’s” questions

        Yes there are bad officers….I had to fire 2 that worked for me and we did a good job of weeding out others…. I would say that the percentage of criminal officers where I worked (Southeastern state) is less than 1%!

        1%??? Great. That makes it all better.


        Cop plants taser on guy he just shot:

        1. avatar Anonymous says:


          Cop kills guy who took his… magazine??? Why didn’t he just tase him?
          https://lawandcrime.com/video/california-cop-shoots-and-kills-unarmed-man-outside-of-7-eleven-video/

        2. avatar Anonymous says:


          Guy tries to get his license (when asked for it), gets shot by cop:

          Philando castile also killed by a cop when reaching for his license, pulled over for a broken brake light. Police thought he was pulling the gun out, but he was trying to get his wallet out.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          We should be fair here. The girlfriend shouted, “He’s got a gun” (or words to that effect), in the middle of the incident. That was not helpful at all. Not saying the exclamation justified the outcome, simply noting that the words added to the tension and confusion. This wasn’t a simple matter of a completely calm and peaceful series of actions that ended in a shooting.

          In my opinion, no traffic stop, or other encounter between police and citizens should be treated as a “friendly” incident. The cops should be firm, direct, clear and unconfusing (“Just the facts, ma’am”). There should be no misunderstanding that the cop is in the mood for conversation; every encounter is a potential arrest, a potential disaster. The citizens should never believe a cop is interested in dealing “justice”. Cops are responding to a confrontation. They are not there to “understand” your pain. Never say anything, or make a move that you do not coordinate with the cop(s). Then, do not deviate from whatever action you have coordinated. Do not try to out-think (help) the cop, or do him/her any favors. “Do not argue with the man with a gun.” Take your grievances to court (or blog). Cops aren’t paid to care.

        4. avatar Anonymous says:


          Here an officer accidently shot his partner (yes really), then his partner, thinking it was the perp, shot him. Then they both sat on him, and waited for him to bleed out before calling anyone. Straight up murder.
          http://reason.com/blog/2015/12/21/newly-released-video-of-long-beach-killi
          http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sheriff-shootings-settlements-20170711-story.html

        5. avatar Anonymous says:

          Cops beat up a guy and then lied about it. Now being charged:
          http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-pomona-police-beating-20171026-story.html

      3. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        @Hondo I have known many Policemen, almost every one had a drop gun. If you were their Boss they were not going to tell you.

      4. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        You appear to be very hostile…I hope your NOT a police officer…

    2. avatar A O says:

      This is all garbage.
      #1. The touch is to ensure the trunk is closed and locked so no one can ambush outwards from that compartment. It also puts the officers fingerprints on the vehicle to be used as evidence if something bad should happen.
      #2. Complete lie. Most carry a backup that is registered to them.
      #3. Most departments have a seat belt policy and cameras in the back seat. Sounds like you had a bad experience in a less favorable area.
      #4. Control tactic for the arm wrenching. If done properly, there is no pain so no jumping around. And the forced trip is easily observable on video.

      Where you come up with this crap?

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        1. It is obvious that your reading comprehension needs improvement. I did state that the “touch” USED TO BE A WAY OF PROVING POLICE PRESENCE AT A TRAFFIC STOP, but is used (sometimes) to “plant” drugs and justify a search…
        2. “Throwdown” weapons are a fact of life in most departments…unofficially, or course.
        #4. Wrenching a suspect around is an easy way to “pile on” additional charges (assault) and is used for exactly that purpose, with the cops hoping that at least one charge “sticks”.
        I stand by my statements.

      2. avatar Ardent says:

        Living in a rural area I’d never observed the ‘trunk touch’ technique until just about 10 years ago, except on TV. It appears to have become popular only AFTER most cars had push button in cabin trunk releases or else emergency releases installed inside the trunk to allow a person trapped there to free themselves. Besides that, its rare to encounter a trunk lid that isn’t rather obviously open when being driven around as such. Compound this with the fact that of the two times I’ve had it done to my vehicle one officer stated it was to leave fingerprints ‘proving’ he had contact with me (since I saw him do it and could have wiped off the fingerprints in seconds later made this rather useless) and the other basically indicated the same though didn’t seem to want to answer as to why he was handling my property, I’m going to call BS on the checking the trunk lid thing. . . it’s idiotic on its face and basically useless to boot. I’d go with this is something someone somewhere dreamed up that some cops thought looked or seemed cool and began doing sans training, policy or procedure, for reasons of their own. Incidentally, in the world of dash cams, scratching the paint of ones own car where the officer touched, then suing, seems like a no-brainer for cop haters. On top of that, most cars where I live, at least the ‘suspicious’ ones have a fine coating of dust/road grime on them that makes leaving prints impossible in the first place without digging in enough to actually mar the clear coat. There shouldn’t be any physical contact with another persons property, period, and it also seems that it would open a window of doubt about a search if the video shows the touch and a dog later indicates on the trunk. It’s just generally a stupid thing to do, and serves no legitimate purpose.

        Also. . . did you really say ‘ambush from that location’ as if being ambushed by an attacker concealed in the trunk of a car happens? I know it has happened, but you’re 1000s of times more likely to be accidentally run over by traffic than to encounter this. . . and if the vehicle you stopped was actually a rolling ambush, awaiting the approach of an officer, you’re a dead man anyway.

        I’m not a cop hater, but these types of abusive behaviors, justified by what amounts to complete BS, explanations that wouldn’t sit well with either an advanced jurist or a child of reasonable intelligence, and gonzo concepts that suggest that cops really do walk around assuming the average motorist may secretly be an active Al Qaeda cell or Crip gunship just make all cops look like raving lunatics. The very fact that an officer would attempt a defense of something so bizarre and useless merely makes the average person shake their head and wonder if cops have been playing soldier a little too much and have lost sight of the whole defend and serve concept we originally formed their organizations and empowered them to perform.

        Cops really do work for ‘us’, the collective us that is the citizenry. Continue to abuse, allow to be abused, or covering for the abuse of the citizens eventually results in distrust and dishonesty. Export the policing tactics of the inner city to the suburbs, and the suburbs will begin to treat cops the way inner city residents do; with suspicion, fear, and hostility. This drives the cycle forward, and eventually everyone loses, but the cops lose the most.

        No one wants to have someone second guessing their split second, life and death decisions, but unless cops want a whole lot more of exactly that, increasingly done by citizens councils that don’t care about the costs or the problems it creates for police, cops had better start doing a better job of policing their own to weed out the really bad examples, and in general stop thinking like they are a class apart from the citizens in the communities they serve.

        Out here, cops know that without the citizens on their side they not only wouldn’t solve many crimes, but their jobs would be very, very dangerous. Think big city bad neighborhoods are bad? How about responding alone to a call that requires you to leave your cruiser behind a locked gate and walk out of sight over a hill or around a bend, down a pitch black driveway in an area where the radio doesn’t work without line of sight to the vehicle mounted repeater and cell phone coverage is questionable at best, and back up may be 30 min out anyway, to approach a house where the occupant knows someone approaches and controls the lighting situation, the dogs, ect. and virtually everyone has at least a gun, more likely several.

        You learn some conflict de-escalation skills out here. If you wont go on the calls, you’re fired. If you can’t get along with people, you’re dead, or walking back to the station sans keys, car, radio, phone, gun and your damn shoes if your unlucky. . . There are no bully cops in a pitch black driveway with a non working radio 30 min from back up because they just won’t do that work, its like they know they will screw it up and get hurt, killed or humiliated. You depend on good guys helping you out or backing you up, and on bad guys having enough respect for you, and your argument that they must come along to work it out, and enough trust in you and your coworkers to protect their well being, health and dignity to submit to your control or you just don’t make any arrests at all.

        Out here, no cop with experience will allow, work with or much cover for an abusive, bully cop with a bad attitude, because they can plainly see that it makes their job harder, less safe, less honorable, and potentially deadly.

        Given all that. . . arrests are made here, in dark driveways with non working radios. The law is upheld, but it is done so in such a way that there is mutual respect. Like I said, there are no billy bad a**s 0000000 in a dark driveway, alone, without comms 30 min from town. There are serious, mature, respectful cops who will work with you and expect you to do the same with them, and there are the ones who won’t go there, and end up as jailers instead of road deputies, because deep down the bullies are mostly cowards, and the ones who aren’t cowards are flat out dangerously stupid. Dangerous to themselves and the public, and especially dangerous to the ability of the officers who are doing it right to perform their jobs.

        TLDR synopsis: Before you go checking to see if the trunk lid is latched next time you stop a vehicle, instead make sure you are about to approach the occupants as if they were responsible people who will work with you if you try to work with them. Think about how you can leave them with a good impression of professionalism tempered with a cooperative attitude, in the long run, that is more likely to save your life, or the life of another officer, than checking the latch on the trunk.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Nicely done.

        2. avatar anarchyst says:

          You bring up many excellent points that should be heeded by police departments. At the risk of alienating some police officers and their supporters, the “Black Lives Matter” movement DOES have a point, although some of the examples of police brutality that they promote as “unjustified” actually were “justifiable”.
          Blacks and Whites have totally different attitudes toward police…Blacks look at police as “occupiers” and “oppressors” while Whites look at police as “protectors”, despite the fact that MORE Whites are unjustifiably murdered by police than Blacks. Add to the fact, that innocent Blacks ARE rousted by police with much greater frequency, utilizing “stop and frisk” procedures, which are allowed in many jurisdictions; one can easily see that their resentment is justified.
          The problem arises when a “critical mass” of citizens starts to act against what they see as police brutality. It will not help the situation when “good” police officers are attacked, as those who are aggrieved will see only the uniform, and not the police officer wearing it.
          “Blowback” is something that ALL police departments should be concerned about as it will affect ALL of their police officers, as well as us citizens, not just the “bad apples”.
          TRUST of the community toward police officers must be EARNED, not demanded, as some police departments expect. Demanding instant and immediate “compliance” based on fear NEVER works, is counterproductive, and is responsible for the unnecessary, unjustified murders of citizens by police officers. Blaming police shootings on an “adrenaline rush” is never an excuse. “Poor training is also never an excuse.
          What is needed is a “Bill of Rights” that police officers will adhere to, when interacting with citizens, as police power is extensive, and is easily abused:
          1. We will treat all citizens with respect; we expect to receive the same respect in return
          2. We will not enforce blatantly unconstitutional laws and statutes
          3. We will not abide by department and political citation “quotas” when enforcing traffic laws
          4. We will not execute warrants at night or with SWAT teams unless immediate loss of life is evident
          5. We will not enforce CPS and building code violations as they are administrative in nature
          6. We will treat mentally challenged citizens with care utilizing specially trained officers
          7. You are our employer; we will take all complaints seriously and act on them with deliberate speed
          8. We will adhere to and abide by ALL laws that are expected of ordinary citizens–no police “carve outs”
          8. We will not use “professional courtesy” to avoid sanctions for unlawful behavior by police officers
          9. We will utilize the use of body and dash cams 100% of the time
          10. We consider ourselves to be a part of the community; there is no place for an “us vs. them” attitude

          Of course, there are police departments and officers that will object to some of the suggestions in the “Bill of Rights”, but that is to be expected.

          Let the constructive criticism begin…

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Blog hog! Get your own website if you want to prattle on endlessly with your anti-everything manifesto. You’re polluting the hell out of this one.

      Can we get an editorial deletion of these overwhelming posts?

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Nope!

        But nice attempts at censorship.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Maybe Twits and Boodfaces would be more to your liking. Those sites aggressively scrub out comments and postings that might make readers see things they don’t like.

        TTAG displays the screen name for every comment. Just delete the ones you don’t like. How hard is that?

    4. avatar Scrote McGee says:

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  5. avatar anarchyst says:

    Look up “No Hesitation” targets. This company manufactures targets depicting children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and other vulnerable people holding firearms. These targets are used by many police agencies to “desensitize” their officers and pretty much gives them “carte blanche” to shoot whatever they want, while using their magic “get out of jail free and get a paid vacation” card–“I feared for my life”. Wouldn’t it be nice if us mere citizens could use the same excuse and get rewarded for it?

  6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Not only do the police have immunity if they shoot you, they also have no duty to interfere with your demise at the hands of a murderer. Kind of the best of both worlds.

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      The NYPD motto: “We don’t have to protect you and we won’t let you protect yourself.”

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Yep!

        ★░░░░░░░░░░░████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░███░██░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░██░░░█░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░██░░░██░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░░██░░░███░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░██░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░░███░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░░░██░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░███████░░░░░░░██░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░█████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░███░██░░░░░░★ ★░░░██░░░░░████░░░░░░░░░░██████░░░░░★ ★░░░██░░████░░███░░░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░★ ★░░░██░░░░░░░░███░░░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░★ ★░░░░██████████░███░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░★ ★░░░░██░░░░░░░░████░░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░★ ★░░░░███████████░░██░░░░░░░░░░██░░░░★ ★░░░░░░██░░░░░░░████░░░░░██████░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░██████████░██░░░░███░██░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░██░░░░░████░███░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░█████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░★ ★░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░★

    2. avatar anarchyst says:

      You are correct. There are documented cases of police officers purposely keeping EMT and other medical responders away from their shooting victims so that they “bleed out” permanently.

  7. avatar TexTed says:

    Police immunity absolutely leads to more unnecessary deaths — at least, common sense says so.

    On the other hand, take away their immunity and you’ll multiply the Ferguson Effect 1000x.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      You’re not wrong, but maybe that’s what we need. Frankly, I’d rather have a situation with more local street violence where the cops stay away. I don’t need their protection and they’ll make my life a thousand times harder if I do end up needing to defend myself. Plus, God help you if you shoot a cop in self defense, and I’m honestly more afraid of them than of non-badge wearing criminals. Only one of those groups can murder me with the full backing of the law

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Your average street thug doesn’t wear body armor and runs away at the si ght of another g un.

      2. avatar anarchyst says:

        “Cop shops” should be run like fire departments…”in case of emergency, break glass”. Cops should be sequestered in their stations until their services are requested.

    2. avatar Mad Max says:

      If we (civilian gun owners) are going to defend ourselves, it would be better if there wasn’t any cops.

      Maybe the militia should be brought back to replace the police.

      1. avatar Justsomeguy says:

        Not the militia, it has a different purpose, the Posse Comitatus should be brought back. It consists of all males over the age of 15 that can be called upon by a Sheriff. There is overlap, but two citizens organizations that should be dealing with many of these problems.

        This comment system really sucks

  8. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    This could be good. Our police really should be held accountable for the deaths they cause through negligence, mistaken identity, or just getting home safe. Ideally this would be handled by a clearly defined set of Rules for the engagement of threats with lethal force or some sort of escalation of force matrix. I believe in both of those examples there was a point between verbal warning and deadly force that would have resolved the situation without loss of life. It looks to me that the issue here is that they are allowed to make the leap from verbal commands to lethal force without clearly identifying the existence of a lethal threat. I understand that either of those situations could have turned ugly had the victim indeed been a criminal looking to shoot a cop but I’m sorry to inform the police that getting shot at and possibly being shot is indeed part of the job description and they signed up for it. You chose a dangerous profession and losing your life is a possibility but you also chose a job that (historically) has been one to help the people you serve in times of emergency. Your safety is not and cannot be guaranteed and you cannot continue to take the lives of the citizens you swore to protect in error just because you wanted to go home. It’s time you all come face to face with this fact and make peace with it some of you may die and while I’m sure it is a tragedy to your family and the public it is a much greater tragedy that you take an innocent life because they made some sort of gesture with their hands or they answered their door in the middle of the night with a pistol on their hip. DO NOT FIRE UNTIL FIRED UPON OR UNTIL A LETHAL THREAT HAS BEEN CLEARLY IDENTIFIED. That means unless they are shooting at you or another citizen engaged in legal activity. If you cannot tell that the person actually has a gun in their hands pointed at you or another law abiding citizen engaged in legal activity, DO NOT ENGAGE THAT TARGET WITH LETHAL FORCE! WAIT FOR THE SITUATION TO DEVELOP.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      I read a comment on here a few years ago on one of these types of articles I though was really interesting. The writer of the comments was an old school cop, retired for decades. However, he spoke of an interesting mentality he said used to permeate American law enforcement, particularly in the 60’s, that has since been lost. Apparently, that risk used to be accepted. He said that, by and large, cops recognized that they could only do their jobs with the trust of the people. Because of that, it was simply an accepted fact that, in order to maintain that good faith, they sometimes had to react to a situation as it unfolded instead of taking the preemptive method we see today (to put it another way, waiting until a gun was actually drawn and aimed at them to fire their own weapons rather than ventilating someone when he MIGHT be reaching for his own gun to draw). Sometimes the results of that method were lethal for the cop, and while those deaths were tragic, they were an accepted part of the job, and a risk that was willingly taken to maintain the good faith of the people. I really should have taken a screenshot of his comment, because I’m not stating it nearly as eloquently as he did, but it’s an interesting thought, and one that’s always stuck with me.

      And on a similar note, cops are now trained with that adversarial mindset, which is… problematic. Plenty of them will outgrow it once they’ve been out of the academy for a few years, but not all of them, not by a damn sight. They are trained that, on the beat, they will encounter three types of people: friendlies (other cops), hostiles (active criminals), and *potential* hostiles (everyone else). It’s disgusting, but there it is.

      1. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

        You get the same mentality in Iraq for about the first 3 months… After that you realize there are 3 types of people you encounter daily.
        1. insurgents, terrorists, whatever you call them. They will try to kill you.
        2. Normal people that just want left the hell alone. They’ll leave you alone and are sometimes helpful.
        3. Idiots. They will do the dumbest sh!t known to man. Despite many many warnings they will wait until that first .50 BMG warning shot to pull their head out of their a$$ and back off the convoy or detour to another route. Yes they had many warnings. When I was there we set out cones and signs in Arabic when stopped warning the locals to not approach quickly or to not approach at all depending on our mission. those cones were used as markers for what level of force we could use. The first cone meant hand signals and yelling, 2nd cone meant a flare to the windshield, 3rd cone meant warning shot, 4th cone meant shoot to disable the vehicle or kill. yet we still had Iraqis wait to even attempt to turn around until they hit that 3rd cone.
        Police officers need to recognize the same but unfortunately many will not.

      2. avatar Matt(TX) says:

        @Red in CO Good post.

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      Well put ATFAGENTBOB. Everyone harps about training, but this is where training really pays off for LEs: When you are very good, and you know you are very good, you have the presence of mind and the time to observe, to not act when action isn’t needed, to wait until you know who is whom and what is what before you insert yourself, to wait until you actually see a weapon and a threat before killing someone.

      I credit exhaustive training with handguns, cudgels and to some extent empty hands as having allow me to NOT shoot a couple of people, people who legally met the definition of imminent threat of serious harm or death, but didn’t meet MY standard for having to kill someone. I knew I could, not thought I might, but knew I could shoot them down before they could do the same to me because I took cover instinctively when TSHTF, or even just because the situation didn’t look right. I didn’t have to shoot because I knew that with the distance I’d created, and or the cover I’d gotten behind, that they had very little chance of drawing, aiming and hitting me before I overwhelmed them with gunshots. Training to that level was as much hobby as practicality, and I didn’t really expect to take away from it what I did. I trained to become both more survivable and more lethal in lethal force encounters, and as a result of my (well earned) absolute faith in my speed and accuracy, I didn’t have to shoot those two people. It’s not that they hadn’t earned it, rather that I had other options and used them. The training meant more ability to THINK. The ability to think about other options and other solutions, to see and perceive more clearly what was happening, because I wasn’t terrified. I wasn’t terrified because I felt as if my ability to end those people as a threat was nearly instantaneous and nearly absolute, because I trained. I’m a staunch believer that the greater the level of survivability and lethality training one has, the less likely one is to perceive that a given situation requires a lethal response.

      The second tenant of training to me is stress inoculation. I got mine the old fashion way; survive some ugly situations. I have no doubt that having seen the elephant a time or two made the decision to wait/talk it out rather than shoot to end the threat a whole lot easier to make. I’ve also been in situations where I’ve felt as if I had to talk down/calm officers who were, in my estimation, dangerous because they were afraid. . . of me, or someone else in the situation. Talk about terrifying; try surrendering to someone who is grimacing and shaking with apprehension and fear, with a gun in their hand. (Never mind having to surrender to someone who, and forgive the bravado, is nearing condition black and who in the best of times isn’t as smart, resourceful, trained or capable as you are, while an actual threat (ie not me) is still present.

      That said, I’ve been thanked later, on two occasions, for the calming effect of my actions and demeanor in such circumstances. One I believe was an honest; ‘Sorry I mistook you for a badguy and thanks for being so reasonable about it’ and the other I think was sort of a veiled ‘I was freaking losing it and I had you at gun point, jesus you are scary calm and now I’m both glad you weren’t really the bad guy I thought you were, and maybe this isn’t really the job for me if there are many people out there that calm with guns pointed at them’.

      There is a line from a film. . . I don’t recall which one. . . where a character says to another “Sorry to disappoint you, but you aren’t the first person to put a gun in my face”. That sort of sums up stress inoculation; The first few times are panic inducing, but after awhile you really can just be merely annoyed by someone pointing their gun at you. Calm enough to intentionally move and speak in a way that calms the guy with the pointed gun, because its the best option to save your hide. I do not like encountering young, inexperienced, frightened officers because they are dangerous in the way an injured dog can be; it might bite you because you are standing next to the person who touched them where it hurt, and you just never know. . .

      For all of that, there is the argument that by hesitating, I increased the likelihood I’d be shot or killed. This is true, in that had I simply shot to death the person posing the threat, my odds of injury would have been lowered by some degree. However, this ignores the basic premise that had I decided to shoot, there was nearly a 100% chance of the other person being shot and killed. Just because someone has crossed into the realm of ‘legally I could shoot this dude’ doesn’t necessarily, or even probably, mean you need to shoot them, or even ought to shoot them. I’m more than willing to accept some small incremental increase in my own relative risk to not kill someone who doesn’t have to be killed. That is a moral stance of mine, but also a practical one; I also prefer not being arrested, sued, potentially imprisoned, having my property forfeited and/or being targeted for retribution.

      ‘Getting home safe’ is great, but you have to be able to do so night after night. Improving the odds of getting home on Monday night by .1% only to raise the odds of being killed on Friday by 1% is a poor trade off. Causing more problems than you’re solving is a poor strategy. Without a badge, I have a lot of incentives to not shoot anyone when circumstances permit some other recourse. With a badge there are increasingly fewer incentives to not shoot, and that is something we have to do something about, if only because the few bad cops are making life for the citizen and other cops more dangerous and less fulfilling.

      Tie lethality and survivability in lethal encounter training to incentives to not shoot people. I’m not sure what sort of form that would take, though alterations to the immunity scheme would seem a surefire way, and one which indicates how very serious we are as a society that not shooting people who do not force the matter is much preferable to shooting them, and that shooting people who have not shown themselves to be an imminent, credible and serious threat is inexcusable. Consider though that there are other incentives possible. What about a bonus for not shooting someone in a circumstance in which it is determined that shooting them was justified, but which turned out not to be necessary?

      TLDR: Give cops the tools and training to be effective and confident, incentivize the behaviors you desire (ie not unnecessarily shooting people) and remove those who cannot reach this level of competence and confidence. Shooting people because you are afraid of them, in the absence of an objective and articulable (and credible) threat is murder. There is a broad line between questionable judgement calls and outright murder, and for too long we have been allowing the latter to be painted as the former and it’s got to stop.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        I read the entire comment.

        Thanks.

  9. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    Yes end it. Cops are just civilians with guns and badges that have the unfortunate job of dealing with some of the worst members of our society. But if you allow it to taint your view of all society then you’re not fit to carry a badge.

    Send cops through the same legal system we use without the qualified immunity and that will definitely reduce the more egregious examples of excessive force. If you, as an officer, feel that puts you at too much risk then it may be time to seek other employment.

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Some time past, there may have been conditions (general societal conditions) where police did not have what we call modern capabilities to accurately assess and evaluate a a call-out. There were few departments with mobile radios, no 911, no email, no GPS, you name it. In those days, arriving on the scene of an incident was just an exercise in apprehension. Things were likely to be confused and maybe incoherent. In those days, “acting in good faith”, or “following procedures” may have mitigated some of the difficulties in deciding whether to pursue an incident call, or just let things go and hope nobody got hurt. If one accepts the idea that some incidents would end up with innocent injury and death, or only situations that were without any uncertainty would result in police response, then some sort of accommodation for mistakes would be in order. However…..

    That has not been the situation for at least ten years.

    No excuse for planning a raid, then arriving at the wrong address (as in, police all have the correct address available, but attack the wrong structure anyway). No excuse for intentionally issuing conflicting commands to a suspect or “person of interest’. No excuse for shooting because of a furtive movement, or unexpected movement. No excuse for using deadly force when imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm is not readily apparent (as in no weapon displayed, not deadly force). No excuse for the notion that the top priority for police is to go home safely at the end of the shift (such only applies in combat between nations).

    SC or no SC, police are the shield between the populace, and evil. Shields are made to be struck, not polished and put in the closet for a subsequent parade.

    If police believe they should not face threats any greater, or any more often than the general public, policing is not a career option.

  11. avatar TheSophist says:

    Not just cops. All government employees.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah end QI…everything I can add has been said.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1

  13. avatar FedUp says:

    In New Mexico, the governor thinks suits for actions that don’t qualify for qualified immunity are too expensive, so she wants blanket unqualified immunity instead.
    https://www.abqjournal.com/1117026/gov-wants-to-grant-immunity-to-police.html

    In the 6th Circuit, government can grant itself immunity from the Constitution, so that even if the court agrees that your constitutionally guaranteed rights were violated, your suit still gets thrown out.
    http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2018/01/were-only-ones-immune-enough.html

  14. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Oh God…This subject again…I was at work last night, getting ready to have lunch in our break room. When most of my fellow co workers were wrapped up watching “PD live ” on our DTV system…I couldn’t stand it! It just upset my stomach…Like watching CNN..Yeah, some of the people pulled over, detained, arrested, or stopped were cretins and dumb asses…But, other times…Lots of questionable police behaviors, constitutional violations, blatant authoritarianism…I wanted to just turn that SH!T off and go move into a self-sustaining log cabin deep in the woods…On 100 acres of private land in the middle of nowhere! And not to be bothered by anything ,or anyone… With a small lake to fish in…And plenty of food stores, supplies, and emergency equipment for the fall of society…Sometimes you just got to take a break from the (bad) News…So you don’t get you ulcer…

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      The last time I watched COPS, there was a fairly uneventful warrant service and arrest in what looked like a housing project. Then a little black kid, I believe the son of the guy in handcuffs, went by on the sidewalk, some distance from the situation at the patrol cars.
      Apparently the kid was singing childish taunts at the cops. (neenerneenerneerpiggiebitmyweener or some such I guess)

      Then a couple of them ran over and tackled the kid, 8-10 years old, off his bike, slamming him to the concrete while the narrator cheered their assault and child abuse. I yelled some obscenities and turned the TV off.

      If that’s how they act in front of a TV crew, what do they do when they think nobody’s watching?

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Yeah, some of the people pulled over, detained, arrested, or stopped were cretins and dumb asses.”

      Two days ago, I saw dashcam video of two cops at a traffic stop. Two people were pulled from the car and made to just sit on the curb, no restraints. Then the third guy was pulled from the car and resisting. One cop was trying to “rassle” the dufuss to the ground, while the other cop watched the two sitters. Things got ugly, and the watching cop told the two other dufusses to “stay there”, while he turned his back on them to assist his partner. The event ended in a shooting, with no one containing the first two passengers (who tried to get away from the shooting, but not fleeing). There was so much cop fail on that event that both cops were fortunate (due to nothing about their “professional” conduct) to walk away. They should not have qualified immunity from disciplinary action for their inability to control the situation. Two cops need a buncha no pay days off.

  15. avatar David says:

    Let’s cut to the chase. Why not dissolve all police forces since it is challenging to keep the proper balance between serving the community and more or less having a standing army? Then we can have the local sheriff (an elected official) handle things? And I would have have sheriffs based on population or county not just county. Say 1 per 100k citizens? And involve all able bodied men in the security of their neighborhood. Police only have powers delegated to them by the people. If people took back those powers neighborhoods and workplaces would be safer. And better policed!

    1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

      Sheriff’s in the Eastern Bloc Communist police-states…Like mine, Sheriffs only serve court papers, deal in fines and fees for unpaid town taxes, and work under the corrections department….

  16. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Though I agree with most of the commenters here…There needs to be serious reform with the Law Enforcement/ Police community…

    1. NCRBs : Full Independent National Civilian Review Boards for all rank and file police officers…Including Management/Administration/Superintendents/commissioners/Sheriffs/Cheifs of Police, etc..For police accountability to the general public….

    2. A complete Ban on ALL Police Unions…(Re: no fraternities ,guilds, brotherhood’s, etc…)

    3. No more sovereign immunity or law enforcement officers Bill of Rights…

    4. Make it a capital crime for any government official agent or law enforcement officer to infringe upon any lawful US citizen exercising any of their constitutional rights- including the Second Amendment. With with compensatory dispensation of not less than $250,000 for each event of infringement..with additional fines including up to imprisonment…As well as the police agency being defended….

    5. Resend president trumps executive order to allow law enforcement community to purchase Surplus military equipment and weapons.

    6. No special privilages, political granted extra rights, or Political dispensation…Nothing over any other US citizen…everything in accordance with the 14th Amendment….

  17. avatar RCC says:

    Commenting as a frequent visitor to USA qualified immunity seems to be a license for bad cops to do whatever they like. There are numerous examples like the New York cop who called union rep after shooting unarmed man and eventually paramedics.

    One issue seems to be too many enforcement agencies who “compete” to keep the money they get in fines and asset forfeiture. I’ve been in towns in Texas where 100% of wages come out of traffic fines. I’ve been in places where 6 different agencies had officers looking for money with radar or even better “opinion” you were speeding.

    Australia only has state police who do not personally keep any of the money they make in fines etc for most crimes or traffic tickets. Also no photo from the radar system and no fine.

    A limited number of federal police who are mostly involved with non military federal issues. Like an FBI with small uniformed branch for major airports and sensitive property.

    Plenty of corruption in the past but making gambling and sex work legal with licenses about 20 years ago got rid of the main ways cops used to get extra money.

  18. avatar Chris Morton says:

    One only need look at the LAPD’s and Torrance PD’s attempts to slaughter Emma Hernandez, Margie Carranza and David Perdue during the Dorner debacle.

    To date, not only has no one been prosecuted for trying to kill COMPLETELY innocent people, no one has been administratively punished.

    In order for YOU to justifiably shoot someone, you MUST have a REASONABLE immediate fear of life and limb. The attempts to exterminate the paper deliverywomen and the surfer CLEARLY demonstrate that cops only need to be “AFRAID”. They don’t need to identify the threat or consider danger to bystanders. They only need to be “scared”, at which point they can reinact the shooting scenes from “Gauntlet”.

    To WAY too many cops, the NON-criminal public are nothing more than reactive targets. When they act on that attitude, they are not held accountable.

  19. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I imagine that the chance that any of the mentioned remedies will happen is about as probable as business subsidies getting nixed.

  20. avatar C.S. says:

    So, how much of a salary increase would LE need to assume the additional risk?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      How much should ANY citizen get paid in order to OBEY THE LAW?

    2. avatar Warlocc says:

      None. They’re overpaid as is.

      Some mall cops deal with more serious stuff than cops, with a fraction of the pay and none of the immunities. If they can do it, so can cops.

  21. avatar Baldwin says:

    I like TTAG and those making their opinions and experiences known, I really do. At TTAG I’ve literally received an education I value highly, one that was not available anywhere else. But most of the comments I have just read above leaves me so very, very disappointed. Most were ANTIFA inspired, unconstitutional, and so poorly considered that I’m left feeling like the only adult in the room. “Qualified” immunity REQUIRES qualification. Period. If it doesn’t work as literally delineated it is not the fault of the concept. It is the fault of the those charged with it’s faithful execution. Negligence in the performance of one’s law enforcement duty is always reprehensible and always to be held accountable for.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “Period. If it doesn’t work as literally delineated it is not the fault of the concept. It is the fault of the those charged with it’s faithful execution.”

      But if the bureaucracy overseeing qualified immunity is both entrenched and corrupt, removing qualified immunity is simply an expedient way of poisoning the corrupt bureaucracy’s root system. Sometimes you have to choose your battles.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      It seems that most people on this board don’t know what qualified immunity is, and yet they continue to argue that it is bad.
      The problem is the relationship between the officers, their unions, and the prosecutor’s office.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “It seems that most people on this board don’t know what qualified immunity is,…”

        Call it what you will, it is an exemption from the same process and procedures that a private citizen endures as a result of a defensive shooting. It is a “carve-out” in the law that permits police to avoid presumption of guilt that applies to a citizen at the scene of a shooting. It is a “breather” between the time of the shooting, and the time a cop can be investigated/interviewed (and it will be an interview not designed to “trap” the cop into incriminating statements). It is a presumption that a cop facing a shooting situation is somehow bestowed different treatment (“rights”) than a private citizen in the same situation. It is a presumption that a cop should be immune from legal liability, or the threat of ruinous litigation (valid or not), whereas a private citizen must rely upon personal resources to fend off the very same sort of law suit a cop could face.

        Private citizens are relegated to buying their own personal liability insurance, their own legal defense insurance, their own expert witnesses, etc. Why are police considered of a legal class above their employers?

        1. avatar Hunter427 says:

          When was the last time you ran toward gun shoot ??

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          That would be 1972, Hanoi. It was night, things were moving fast; didn’t stay long.

          Cops are paid to “run to the guns”, not private citizens. Cops are “flak bait”. They aren’t conscripted. There is nothing to keep them being cops. As a taxpayer, I expect them to be there when I need them, and not be there when I don’t need them. I do not need them to be late to the party.

          I recognize the “need” for police. I respect their firepower. I understand their difficult job. I will not antagonize police. But, I don’t trust them (I’ve seen too many at the range; bystanders are in great peril).

          If cops cannot operate under the same rules, laws and constraints as a private citizen applying deadly force, there are other job options available.

  22. avatar Walt Longmire says:

    Yes.

  23. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    “Qualified immunity” immunity for anyone qualified by being in uniform at the time.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    Qualified immunity applies to actions that were objectively reasonable. This can be either uses of force where the court looks to the point of view of the defendant (in this case, an officer) rather than some omnipresent viewpoint or in a legal case where plantiffs claim deprevation of rights under color of law when that law was not yet determined (and that the defendant, not being a judge with months to decide but instead someone in a dangerous situation with seconds).

    In either case it dates well back into common law and changing it would be both complicated and a big deal.

    But, okay, say it’s changed. If that’s done then you will need to institute a draft to employ police. That might not be a terrible idea, incidentally- sort of like a jury pool- but I bet you won’t like the results.

    1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      Finally an intelligent comment! Reading some (or actually a lot) of these comments wanted to make me vomit. All of the internet lawyers that can’t even define “qualified immunity” going “through the roof” with statements that aren’t even close to reality.

      What has driven me nuts in recent years about law enforcement perceptions is that most are derived from listening to the mainstream media and watching a few controversial YouTube dash cam videos. Until I left my agency a few years ago, I would often invite and highly encourage people to do ride-a-longs with me. I’d have a few takers, and it always changed their perception of what actually happens on a day to day basis. So many, though, won’t take the time to do it and then just want to complain about policy and procedure without even seeing what goes on.

      There are so many of us out there that go out of our way to protect people’s constitutional rights, yet it’s “fun” to be a keyboard warrior and talk about “fixing” a problem when the first sentence written demonstrates that they cannot even define “qualified immunity.”

      How is this fixing anything right now in America? We had a previous administration that created an all out race war. Back then, people on the forums were spouting off that the administration was turning its back on law enforcement and supporting the street thugs. Now it’s wild statements such as:

      “The reason for this “touch” (of the trunk) is that, quite often, the police officer will have a small quantity of narcotics (marijuana or cocaine) on him (in his hand) that he will rub on the car in order to help “justify a search”.”

      Choose your battles carefully! Most of us signed up to do what we were sworn to do in this order as stated by the oath of office:

      1) Defend the Constitution of the United States.
      2) Defend the Constitution of the State of Colorado (or their state)
      3) Uphold the Colorado (or their appropriate state) Revised Statutes.

      I completely agree Hanabal, why would anyone in their right mind want to be a cop anymore????

      Sadly, I hear everyone talk about their 2nd, or 1st, or 4th, or 6th amendment rights (all very important) and then critique a law enforcement contact as unconstitutional based on limited knowledge of the Constitution. My guess is that they never once in their life read the Constitution in its entirety. I think this can be confirmed by many of these wild comments today.

      No wonder the left just laughs at us. We look like total fools on here…

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “We look like total fools on here…”

        Just those who believe cops should be able to shoot a non-threatening person or dog, and simply walk away with, “Ooopps. My bad.”

        If you read the comments carefully, you find all the “anti-cop” flavor is aimed at abuse of power, of thinking cops deserve more protection than a private citizen who makes the same mistake, or commits the same violation of “imminent threat of death, or grievous bodily harm” (yes, I do understand the actual legal meaning of that phrase).

  25. avatar DrewR says:

    Yes, end qualified immunity. Police should be held to the same standard of evidence when shooting in self defense as everyone else, i.e. if I go to trial for it so should they.

    1. avatar Matt(TX) says:

      What @DrewR said.
      “Yes, end qualified immunity. Police should be held to the same standard of evidence when shooting in self defense as everyone else, i.e. if I go to trial for it so should they.”

  26. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    “But, okay, say it’s changed. If that’s done then you will need to institute a draft to employ police. That might not be a terrible idea, incidentally- sort of like a jury pool- but I bet you won’t like the results.”

    Interesting point. But I think the real issue is just how much bad behavior from police has to occur before meaningful change takes place? Criminologists have asked this question for decades and never arrived at a decent answer. The same dysfunctional police culture that tried to kill Frank Serpico still exists in most departments and, from all appearances, is growing more entrenched and more reactionary. This can’t be good.

  27. avatar Mad Max says:

    No part of the Government should have qualified immunity.

    If the cops screw-up (by accident), the department should be held accountable for their mistakes. If the screw-up is on purpose and it can be proven as so, the individual Officer(s) involved should be personally held liable in addition to the Department..

  28. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Free insurance for cops..if they get killed on duty the family gets $5M .
    Does not bring the cop back, but takes care of the family in the event they die.
    You can’t always have a policy where you have to be fired at before you can engage.
    That is fine in the military where you have hundreds or thousands to back you up…artillery…air support…etc…
    But when you are only one or two officers in the field…that split second may be life or death…

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Leighton Canvendish,

      “But when you are only one or two officers in the field…that split second may be life or death…”

      That comes with the territory, is a known risk, and police officers voluntarily sign up for it.

      Innocent people — who die when a police officer acts before letting that split second play out — did not expect such a policy, did not know about such a risk, and most certainly did NOT voluntarily sign up to be executed.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “But when you are only one or two officers in the field…that split second may be life or death…”

      Is this not known to VOLUNTEERS for police duty? Is this something that surprises a cop during the shift?

      Here’s the deal: I pay taxes to pay for some people to wear a uniform and badge while enforcing the laws of the jurisdiction. Police are paid to be on the front line, and absorb all the risks, all of them. Those who want assurance of going home safely after each shift should quit and refund the money spent having them on the force.

      Taxpayers expect cops to get shot at sometimes. Cops who do not understand that, who do not want that should be discharged immediately (without prejudice).

  29. avatar Felixd says:

    With all the angst shown by so many here perhaps it would be best if some respondents become police officers so they may begin to rectify the miscarriages they talk about. Give it a try. Let’s have some report from the inside after they work at it for a while. I wonder what they might say?

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Give it a try. Let’s have some report from the inside after they work at it for a while. I wonder what they might say?”

      Quite the dodge. The point is not “walk a mile in my shoes”. There is a reason I am not a cop. Once a person chooses (as in VOLUNTEERS) to be a cop, they assume all the risks and derision. If the job is too tough (and it is for me), find something else for a career. If a cop believed they would receive nothing but admiration and accolades, that someone needs to be relieved of duty (and maybe subjected to a mental evaluation).

      Cops…hey, cops….if you don’t like what you see and hear from the citizens (not talking perps, here), bail out; find something new. You get paid to take the crap the average citizen doesn’t want for themselves. If you do a great job, nobody notices. If you do a lousy job, we all get to pile on. Cops are employees; taxpayers are the employers. Get the picture?

      1. avatar Felixd says:

        Actually, you’ve dodged the question. The logic is starting to drain from your position leaving only anger in its place. People stop listening after a while.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      With all the angst shown by so many here perhaps it would be best if some respondents become police officers…

      I don’t want to be a police officer. I just don’t want to get shot answering my door because some idiots got the wrong address, or they shot my dog, or I got executed because I didn’t precisely follow police instructions with a flood light in my face.

      1. avatar Felixd says:

        Why are you so seeming worried about police shooting you? Is it where you live?

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          I’m not worried at all. Unless I see cops. Because sometimes the cops shoot you. It’s rare. But it happens sometimes.

        2. avatar Felixd says:

          SO AGAIN, Why is Anonymous so worried about the police?

        3. avatar Anonymous says:

          SO AGAIN, Why is Anonymous so worried about the police?

          SO AGAIN, I’m not worried at all. Unless I see cops. Because sometimes the cops shoot you.

          Scroll up to the videos above, where the cops saw threats out of non-threats (or just murdered people) and that should answer your question.

        4. avatar Felixd says:

          Why are YOU so afraid of being “attacked” by the police?

  30. avatar INuniform says:

    As a 2nd amendment advocate and a police officer it makes me sick to read so many anti-police comments on here. On my department of 100+ officers, 99% of them are gun loving, freedom loving Americans who would let a criminal go free before violating their rights as a citizen. As for Qualified Immunity, it most importantly protects me from being personally sued while performing my duties (here’s 1 of thousands of examples): I tase the dirtbag who fights me and runs from me and he falls and hits his head on a rock, dying. My family will now not be out of our home and everything we’ve worked for. Thank you Qualified Immunity.
    Some officers make bad decisions because they are just people, and people make mistakes. The cases where this costs an innocent person’s life is the exception, not the rule.
    Darren Wilson made the right decision to shoot, did nothing wrong, and still had his name dragged through the mud on top of having 1 million+ dollars in legal fees. Who paid these fees? The FOP legal defense fund. What prevented him from being personally sued by Mike Brown’s family? Qualified Immunity.
    The bottom line is this, 40k-50k a year is nowhere near enough to do this job without the legal protections that have been afforded me by the US Supreme Court.

    1. avatar Hondo says:

      AMEN…Brother…finally someone posting from somewhere other than there Mother’s Basement!

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        How’s the coffee there at the police station? What kind of computers you guys use there?

    2. avatar Almost Retired says:

      My thoughts exactly. I used to like reading up on gun related news here. But after seeing all the hatred being spewed towards police officers, I may need to re-think my priorities.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Choices. Isn’t America great?

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        Why do you think that there is so much hatred being spewed at police officers? Do you think it’s increasing or diminishing? And if it’s increasing maybe you should reflect on that.

    3. avatar Sam I Am says:

      You complain about anti-cop comments, but unwittingly identify and personify the reason for the “anti-cop” sentiments (we are not so much “anti-cop” as anti-abuse of power, whatever the level).

      You cite safety from personal liability resulting from “just doing your job”. The example you presented is precisely the problem. You see, if I were defending myself by use of a TASER, I would be subject to all you fear. Why should that be?

      You note that police mistakenly (irresponsibly?) killing an innocent person is an “exception”. You are declaring that such deaths are just the price the public pays for police who have no legal requirement to protect the public. Your “exception” is 100% dead for no reason.

      Tacking onto the above, if I, while defending myself with a gun, mistakenly kill an innocent person, I am SOL. I do not get three days of admin leave to deal with the aftermath of a shooting. I do not get a no-cost attorney from PBA, or the municipality. I do not get immunity from police questioning/investigation while “getting myself together or under control of my emotions following a shooting. I am not protected against being cuffed and carted to jail, even though the shooting is later determined to be justified.

      Simply put, you want special privileges for the same actions that get the public jailed and/or sued. This is what the “anti-cop” rhetoric is all about.

    4. avatar Anonymous says:

      As a 2nd amendment advocate and a police officer it makes me sick to read so many anti-police comments on here.

      I don’t trust the police (sorry). To put it in perspective. If I called the police to my home for their help, I would expect them to write me a ticket for my jeep parallel parked on the road because the registration was expired. Police have no duty to protect and they can’t protect. Police show up after the fact, so that means that when I encounter a police officer I view that officer in the sense that I would view a predator seeking prey. And that is because you guys enforce stupid ass laws. Granted, those laws are not your fault. Those laws were passed by intolerant people with a multitude of cultures taking turns taking each other’s freedoms away by means of legislation as a result of their intolerance for each other, and their need to force their culture on everyone else. They are “there should be a law…” people. And you enforce the reality manifested by their retardation, unfortunately.

      On my department of 100+ officers, 99% of them are gun loving, freedom loving Americans who would let a criminal go free before violating their rights as a citizen.

      Great.

      As for Qualified Immunity, it most importantly protects me from being personally sued while performing my duties (here’s 1 of thousands of examples): I tase the dirtbag who fights me and runs from me and he falls and hits his head on a rock, dying. My family will now not be out of our home and everything we’ve worked for. Thank you Qualified Immunity.

      WTF. That is your example? If you tased him and he died, then you killed him. You killed him. Your actions resulted in his death, accident or not. If I did it, accidentally, I would get a manslaughter charge. I would go to prison. Their family would sue me for all their expenses.

      Which means… I must be extra careful and greatly responsible for my actions… and YOU DON’T!

      Some officers make bad decisions because they are just people, and people make mistakes. The cases where this costs an innocent person’s life is the exception, not the rule.

      I agree it’s very rare. Very. But when it happens, it’s usually a cluster-f of epic proportions. Like a guy on his hands and knees begging for his life while trying to pull his pants up and gets killed because of “officer safety.” When these things happen, JUSTICE must be sought. It must be. Because if it’s not, then you get deep resentment in the population. Deep resentment. And the resentment can manifest itself into worse things.

      Darren Wilson made the right decision to shoot, did nothing wrong, and still had his name dragged through the mud on top of having 1 million+ dollars in legal fees. Who paid these fees? The FOP legal defense fund. What prevented him from being personally sued by Mike Brown’s family? Qualified Immunity.

      Wilson went though the justice system and was absolved. Justice was done. No, you don’t get to mandate the sentence in the court of public opinion. That is a justifiable hazard that comes with having a free society. If Wilson was sued by the family then he should have to defend himself in court. If I shot Brown in self defense, I certainly would have to, and the court could rule in Wilson’s favor. That is part of the justice system too, that right now, citizens risk in their everyday life, but cops don’t have to.

      The bottom line is this, 40k-50k a year is nowhere near enough to do this job without the legal protections that have been afforded me by the US Supreme Court.

      Then maybe we need to cut back on the laws, and cut back on the law enforcement. Citizens should be armed and responsible for their own safety, and cops can be called only when needed.

      I’m sure 40-50k a year would be enough for some, maybe not you, but for some.

    5. avatar Matt(TX) says:

      What do you do about the 1% who are not, ” gun loving, freedom loving Americans who would let a criminal go free before violating their rights as a citizen”. If you cover and protect those who abuse their power, you are complicit a partner in their ‘crimes’. That is why people are unhappy about Policemen.

  31. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    No matter what anyone thinks posting on this board, you will never get rid of qualified immunity. Pretty much all the regulars here are willing and able to take responsibility for their own lives and their own safety. In modern America, the rest of the public absolutely will not. They want the government to do it for them. They want the police to show up and make them feel safe, and the politicians will promise that all day long, because they know some of those people will vote to make it happen.

    Now if you want police to go in and actually try to handle calls, never mind that the courts say they don’t have to, but take away the protection for objectively reasonable decisions, you need to either pay them like neurosurgeons or accept that they will universally wait until the stabbing/shooting/handicapped parking suspect is an hour gone before showing up.

    If you live in a place where they wait that long anyway, or where some of the abuses of power you hear about on the news are common, you need to elect better politicians who will start replacing people from the Chief on down until things change.

  32. avatar anarchyst says:

    Attention cops: Cry me a river. If your job is too difficult, find another line of work…Do I want to see every cop go home alive after his shift? Absolutely YES…The problem arises when cop safety supersedes citizen safety…
    Cops already wait “for the shooting to stop”. Witness Columbine, where cops stood on their thumbs for half-an-hour while the nut case was shooting up the school, when they could have easily penetrated the school and stopped the nut case. Of course, these same cops have no problem breaking into an ordinary citizen’s house on a non-violent warrant, (quite often the wrong house) utilizing SWAT tactics, busting up everything in sight, terrorizing the occupants, “just because they can”, with all of their “firepower” to possibly murder the occupants, which gets them a “no-bill” from a corrupt prosecutor-steered grand jury and an extended “paid vacation”.
    Police work is NOT particularly dangerous. Many occupations are far more dangerous…

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      There was a lot of change in tactics after Columbine. Not every department in the country is on board yet, but most of them will go in on active shooter calls even with one man. There’s a problem now when supervisors try to make a distinction between active shooters and armed barricaded suspects, and failing to recognize that victims of the shooter who was active only moments before are still bleeding out.

    2. avatar Hondo says:

      One thing about it you are SAFE in your Mom’s basement!

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Your comments reveal more about who you are, than your accusation, of what he is.

    3. avatar Almost Retired says:

      Dude…you are really out there. Never been a cop, but you are the “expert” on all things law enforcement. If your rules were put into place there would not be any cops, anywhere.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “If your rules were put into place there would not be any cops, anywhere.”

        Are you saying sometimes the random citizen is expendable because it is the only way to recruit and retain police?

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Sure sounded like it.

          Maybe no cops is better. Maybe just a few select sheriffs (whom are elected) and volunteers/deputies can be raised when needed.

  33. avatar sound awake says:

    sure let’s do it and in so doing turn the whole country into Baltimore and chicago when the police nationwide decide to still show up for work every day but stop policing

  34. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    There have been many good suggestions above, and a few laughable ones too.

    This one is not a simple question.

    Qualified Immunity is to LEO’s what Stand Your Ground is to everyone else. The officer was in the situation and reacted to the information available at the time. It is very easy to analyze the situation after the fact when there is no threat and you have plenty of time to look at all the information and come to a conclusion that may not match the conclusion the officer made at the time.

    Does it invite abuse? Probably.

    Does it invite the Police to be more aggressive than necessary? Wouldn’t that still be part of the first question regarding abuse?

    Maybe the abuse should be addressed instead of the system that is being abused. The idea is/was a sound one when it was put in place so what changed? Fix what changed instead of removing the idea.

    If the idea turns out to be the problem then by all means end QI. But lets make sure the problem is not just some bad cops f’ing up the system for everyone.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      The thing that changed is people taking ‘officer safety’ too far. Trying to tell new cops that their only chance to see their families again is to consider everyone they see as an armed and potentially homicidal suspect, until proven otherwise. When training starts with showing a video compilation of cops getting shot in the back, cops freezing and letting themselves be shot because they couldn’t bring themselves to return fire, cops leaning in on traffic stops and getting shot in the face, it has a lot more negative effect on people than positive.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Qualified Immunity is to LEO’s what Stand Your Ground is to everyone else. The officer was in the situation and reacted to the information available at the time. ”

      So, you are declaring that a cop shooting an innocent (no imminent threat of death or bodily harm present; emphasis “imminent”) person is the same as me claiming “stand your ground” as a defense for killing an innocent bystander. Really? You really think that a private citizen can get away with shooting someone who makes a “furtive move”?

      There is no comparison between “qualified immunity” and “stand your ground”. Even if I am 100% accurate, and shoot only the imminent attacker, I am not immune from being “put through the system”, as cops are.

      Cops are citizens. Cops are civilians. All citizens and civilians should be accountable to the same standards of behavior.

      “The fog of war” only exists on the battlefield, where the idea is to kill and destroy all threats (real or imagined). The battle field is not an exercise in ultra-law enforcement; “rules” are a figment of imagination for crybabies. Law enforcement among the population of a community is not combat, is not the prosecution of war.

      Police are agents of the public. Law of agency denies one the ability to delegate (create agency) power to do what the delegator cannot do. If the public cannot make a mistake in the application of deadly force, neither can the agents of the public. My agents are held to the same legal standards as I. As it should be, and should be with police.

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        “…So, you are declaring that a cop shooting a… person is the same as me claiming “stand your ground” as a defense for killing an innocent bystander. Really?”

        Yes, That is exactly what I am declaring. I don’t know why you added all that other crap about stuff that can only be proven after the fact which is exactly the point I am trying to make because you weren’t in the situation so how would you know if there was a threat or not.

        You said it yourself, Police are agents of the public. So why should they not have the same benefit of being innocent until proven otherwise? QI doesn’t prevent cops from standing trial anymore than SYG prevents you from standing trial. It reinforces the correct claim that you have to be proven guilty in that trial. It is up to the prosecution to convince the jury that you, and they, are not innocent.

        The ones who abuse the system should be the focus, not the system itself.

        1. avatar Aaron says:

          there is an enormous disparity of legal power, tilted towards cops and against non-cops, built in to the system. QI is part of that imbalance.

          it’s unexcusable and intolerable how police shoot innocent people in their own homes and suffer no repercussions in some jurisdictions. it’s unexcusable how some jurisdictions abuse civil asset forfeiture, or set up speed traps that have nothing to do with traffic safety, in order to steal people’s money.

          Most cops are probably good. but because they have so much power and authority, a bad cop can abuse and even murder people for years with no repercussions. cops need to be held to HIGHER standards of liability, not lesser standards.

          a lawyer I know used to work these cases, from both sides. he said the majority if complaints usually come from the same cops over and over – who never had to pay out of their own pockets for settlements.

          so don’t tell me the system is fine. it might be fine in some areas, but there are places in America where it is obscene.

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          If the system allows a begging citizen on his hands and knees trying to pull his pants up to get shot and killed and “objective reasonableness” requires no justice, then we have a problem. Forget about an individual abuse. This is the allowable standard now, as a result of “officer safety.” And continued disparity without justice will result in deep resentment, against those of the “more rights for me” class, from the populace, which can manifest itself into things much worse.

        3. avatar anarchyst says:

          I agree that police officers must have the same “rights” against self-incrimination” and all other Constitutional rights, the same as any citizen.
          However, I beg to differ with your assessment that police officers are treated the same, especially when it comes to the use of “deadly force”.
          A citizen that uses deadly force, even justifiably, will be immediately handcuffed and arrested, until the situation is “sorted out”. He will most likely be “detained” in a holding cell at the police station until the prosecutor makes a decision whether to prosecute. Questioning by police will most certainly be forceful and immediate, with police interrogators purposely trying to “trip up” the citizen by attempting to elicit contradictory statements–standard police interrogation tactics.
          A police officer in an identical situation will NOT be handcuffed or arrested. The police officer will be afforded a union attorney and will have 72 hours in which to “get his story straight”. In addition, a police-friendly prosecutor will be likely to hesitate to prefer charges, as “they are on the same team”. Most likely an extended taxpayer-paid “vacation” will result.
          Not so for the ordinary citizen.
          Double standard?
          You bet…

        4. avatar Roymond says:

          If cops and other citizens are to be treated equally, then any time a non-cop shoots someone, they should immediately get a paid two-week vacation at whatever rate the local police are getting, while things are being investigated.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “You said it yourself, Police are agents of the public. So why should they not have the same benefit of being innocent until proven otherwise? ”

          You really do not understand the difference between a legal shield and a legal process?

          Once again….

          If a cop shoots a person (any person), that cop is placed on administrative leave. Generally, that cop cannot be questioned by investigators for three days (“in order to give the officer time to gather his thoughts, get through the adrenaline rush, calm down and make coherent statements, confer with the PBA rep and lawyer). No citizen is granted the same privileges (immunities). Then, if there is a trial, the legal expenses are not paid by the cop (reference statements on this thread that QI immunizes cops from being financially ruined by lawsuits). No citizen is granted such immunity.

          Bottom line, cops are citizens, cops are civilians. They should be treated the same as a private citizen (including arrest and booking immediately after the shooting) faced with the same situation. Treated exactly the same, in every respect.

  35. avatar Roymond says:

    Time to enforce what Plato had to say about a republic’s guardians: they must be beyond reproach, of the highest character.

  36. avatar Aaron says:

    Both sides of this argument have valid points:

    perps (and their families) lodge false and frivolous accusations against the police. there are plenty of videos of this, including one where a husband and wife were conspiring for the wife to hit the husband so he could acccuse the police of police brutality, in the back of a cruiser where they didn’t realize they were being videoed.

    crooked and/or incompetent cops abuse or even kill innocent people and some departments conspire to cover it up.

    since the balance of power is overwhelmingly on the side of cops, i think qualified immunity tilts the issue unconstitutionally to the side of the cops.

    eliminate it. require any settlements to include funds from the officers’ personal paychecks, including those who didn’t participate in the crime but did participate in the coverup or who had management/command authority.

    cops (and prison guards) will then be FORCED to record their actions to prevent frivolous accusations by perps, and they will be less likely to lie on behalf of their buddies.

    there is ZERO excuse for shooting an innocent person in their own property, period. it is unexcusable and intolerable.

    the same argument applies to civil asset forfeiture: the balance of power is firewalled to the cops’ side. furthermore, it is unconstitutional to seize property without due process. civil asset forfeiture is also rife with conflicts of interests. therefore, it should be eliminated unless there is a fair trial under a jury.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      the same argument applies to civil asset forfeiture: the balance of power is firewalled to the cops’ side. furthermore, it is unconstitutional to seize property without due process. civil asset forfeiture is also rife with conflicts of interests. therefore, it should be eliminated unless there is a fair trial under a jury.

      Civil asset forfeiture is due process, it’s just really shitty due process, which you think would have been repealed long ago, alas no. Once the government takes something, they never want to give it back. Money, freedom, you name it.

      From Huffpo no less:
      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/irs-structuring-civil-asset-forfeiture_us_573b908de4b0aee7b8e83ae3

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        I’m mystified why our government thinks the “process” is “due process” when they sieze property of people who haven’t been accused of a crime BEFORE applying any process!

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The key word in your statement is “government”.

      2. avatar Roymond says:

        Civil asset forfeiture is action under the color of due process; it does not qualify as due process. Courts had sad before that just because the law provides a way to do something does not mean it provides due process. Due process includes, at the very least, a chance to face the accuser and argue the matter.

        1. avatar Sam I A, says:

          Yes, yes. All of that…..and?

          The SC declared asset forfeiture to be constitutional. End of story.

          Next stop….state legislatures and Congress.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          But wait; from last year, Ginsburg:

          “Colorado may not presume a person, adjudged guilty of no crime, nonetheless guilty enough for monetary exactions. To get their money back, defendants should not be saddled with any proof burden.”

          If that gets applied to assets, the burden of proof goes back where it belongs — on the state, beyond a reasonable doubt.

        3. avatar Sam I A, says:

          That case was not “asset forfeiture” as understood commonly. The Colorado case was a situation where the defendants were convicted, then had convictions overturned on appeal. Defendants filed a claim against Colorado to get back the money taken from them because of the first trial (wherein they were convicted). Colorado process required the previously convicted to prove, prove, they were actually innocent (different from “not guilty”, or conviction overturned). SC held that Colorado could not require “proof” of innocence, as that violated the “innocent until proven guilty” theory of jurisprudence extant since the founding. In cases of “asset forfeiture” wherein money and goods are confiscated with criminal (or civil) charge, the Colorado decision does not apply because there is generally no overturned conviction in the “asses forfeiture”.

        4. avatar Roymond says:

          But the principles are transferable, and court observers I’ve read are hoping this will swing things.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          In the commonly understood “asset forfeiture” it is the asset itself that is being “arrested”, not the holder/owner/transporter. Assets have no civil rights, and do not require warrant, trial, or conviction (although there have been arrest warrants used, but not for those roadside thefts).

          Courts will only adopt “similar” precedent when it suits them. Not likely courts will wholesale stretch the Colorado ruling beyond.

        6. How has our Supreme Court dealt with this procedure that dates back to colonial times?

        7. avatar Roymond says:

          You mean the colonial-era laws against smuggling?

          Even those required proof of wrongdoing before seizure of anything. What police do now is one of the abuses by the Crown: forfeiture by mere accusation.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “furthermore, it is unconstitutional to seize property without due process. civil asset forfeiture is also rife with conflicts of interests. therefore, it should be eliminated unless there is a fair trial under a jury.”

      SC ruled asset forfeiture IS constitutional. “Compelling government interest”, I guess.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        due process needs to be BEFORE the siezure!

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Apparently being stopped for any reason is “due process” prior to asset forfeiture.

          The violation of personal rights is so egregious it is mind-boggling that the SC determined “asset forfeiture” to be constitutionally permissible.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          The truly bizarre aspect is that it is the property which is considered to be guilty, not the person.

          It’s worse than deciding that inanimate objects have free speech.

  37. avatar Jimmy the Saint says:

    The only thing that matters is that these brave heroes go home safely at the end of their shift. It should be a honor to be gunned down by people who make Superman look like a sniveling coward – you made a god-amongst-men fear for his/her life, and that is no mean feat. If we have to sacrifice every single non-badged man, woman, and child in the nation to keep our police free from fear, it is a price we should willingly pay.

  38. avatar Kurt says:

    Couldn’t have said it nearly as well – this is what’s wrong with American policing

    Nobody cares if you go home safe at the end of your shift:
    http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/index.php?itemid=441

    Kurt

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Agreed.

      It’s not that I don’t want cops to go home safe, It’s that I don’t want to be killed reaching for my insurance, or my dog killed because they splattered his brains all over the lawn, because he “may” have bit them, or I open my door to a flood light in my face and get executed, because I didn’t precisely follow instructions, because I was confused about what the hell was going on.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “…because I didn’t precisely follow intentionally contradictory instructions.”

        Fixed it for you.

    2. avatar anonymous says:

      A nice read man. I’m going to use this later. And it’s so true.

  39. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Excerpt:

    Definition:

    Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution. It is a principle of international law which exempts a sovereign state from the jurisdiction of foreign national courts.

  40. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Excerpt:

    Definition:

    Qualified immunity shields public officials from damages for civil liability so long as they did not violate an individual’s “clearly established” statutory or constitutional rights. The immunity is available to state or federal employees, including law enforcement officers, who are performing their jobs.Apr 17, 2013

  41. What are the chances of a state repealing qualified immunity?

  42. avatar anarchyst says:

    Not too long ago, there was a story about some teenage Texas restaurant workers who refused to serve police officers. The “news media” painted the employees as being “disrespectful” to these police officers…these young people ended up losing their jobs as a result..
    Now for the rest of the story:
    It turns out that these young teenage restaurant workers were being harassed constantly by these same officers. From being stopped on flimsy pretexts to being issued traffic citations, (which could be a whole week’s pay for these young people) and, in general, being abused by these cops, “just because they could”. these young workers fought back the only way they could…

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Woooooh. Hope you have a direct source.

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