comes as protesters across the country have been reacting to the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis. The death has sparked nationwide protests pushing for more police accountability and reform.
In recent years, legal scholars, judges and justices on all sides of the ideological spectrum have criticized the legal doctrine known as “qualified immunity,”
arguing that it is not grounded in the proper legal authorities and it too often shields officials from accountability.
Under the doctrine, an officer will not be liable even if he violated the Constitution unless it was “clearly established” by prior cases that his conduct was unconstitutional.
That requires a high bar and makes it difficult to win unless the situation is similar to a prior case with nearly identical facts. In some cases with unique fact patterns, of which there are many, officers have been granted immunity even if they have been found to have acted in violation of the Constitution.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Published at Mon, 15 Jun 2020 14:10:09 +0000-Supreme Court declines to weigh in on legal doctrine that shields law enforcement