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Police Immunity Laws Test Conservative Principle — And Rule Of Law

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges for kneeling on George Floyd's neck until he stopped breathing. But even if Chauvin is convicted, Floyd's family may not be able to pursue claims under a federal statute that authorizes lawsuits against government officials who violate people's constitutional rights.

The uncertain prospects for the lawsuit Floyd's relatives plan to file underlines the unjust and irrational consequences of qualified immunity, a doctrine that shields police from liability for outrageous conduct when the rights they violated were not "clearly established" at the time. Congress should seize the opportunity created by Floyd's May 25 death and the nationwide protests it provoked to abolish that doctrine, which the Supreme Court unlawfully grafted onto the Civil Rights Act of 1871.

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Damning New Evidence Against Cop Charged In George Floyd Murder

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On Friday, after a week of escalating protests, Hennepin County attorney Michael Freeman announced that former police officer Derek Chauvin had been arrested and would be charged with manslaughter and 3rd degree murder in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd. Floyd died after being arrested for possibly passing a fake $10 or $20 bill to buy cigarettes. The arrest made headlines as onlookers videotaped the assault by police. Floyd pleaded on video that he could not breathe and was in serious distress.

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