Over the past few years, there have been a number of cases in which law enforcement officers seem to have gotten off scot-free’ in situations where seemingly innocent people have been physically harmed. One example is the 2004 case of Malaika Brooks. While driving her son to school, the pregnant Brooks was pulled over by law enforcement and asked to sign a ticket. When she refused, she was tased, laid in the street, and arrested. When a case was brought against the officials who injured Brooks, it was dismissed on the basis of qualified immunity.
Police brutality cases like Brooks’ have recently raised concerns across the country and left citizens wondering how qualified immunity works, and whether it’s a good thing.
What is the History of Qualified Immunity?
Qualified immunity is provided to law enforcement officials and allows them to violate a person’s civil rights without any serious legal consequences. The concept of qualified immunity was first introduced by the Supreme Court in 1967 and created an exception for law enforcement officials who committed actions against an individual’s civil rights if they believed their actions were in good faith.
Over time, qualified immunity has evolved into more than an exception of actions that were believed to be committed in “good faith.” Today, qualified immunity extends to law enforcement officials unless the victim can clearly establish proof that their rights had been violated.
If you’ve been involved in a case where you feel your civil rights were violated by law enforcement, it’s important to understand how qualified immunity protects law enforcement officials.
How Does Qualified Immunity Works In Favor of Law Enforcement?
There are a number of ways qualified immunity works in the favor of law enforcement officials. The most common ways include:
- Qualified immunity protects officials from losing their assets in civil lawsuits
- Qualified immunity protects officials from undergoing litigation
- Qualified immunity protects officials from judgment-based mistakes
One of the biggest issues with qualified immunity is that it removes the necessity for law enforcement officials to think before they act. Unfortunately, if an officer makes a mistake and violates a person’s civil rights, it’s not likely they’ll be held accountable. And that’s true even if their mistake costs a person their life.
Call Upon Experienced Legal Defense
Any time you believe your civil rights have been violated, you should seek the advice of experienced legal counsel. Although it’s difficult to build a case against law enforcement officials, the right legal team will be able to create a viable strategy that stands up in court.
In Michigan, the attorneys at Christopher Trainor & Associates have been practicing law for more than twenty years. All of the legal professionals at our office care deeply about each client and believe that no one person is more important than the next. For that reason, we do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
Call 1-800-961-8477 or contact us online today. A free consultation might be just what you need to win the justice you deserve and take control of your future.