Destroying Public Safety

By Charles Love

As our leaders continue their efforts to eradicate racism everywhere they see it, ordinary citizens continue to pay the price. The New York City council recently voted to end qualified immunity (QI) for its police officers, the first city in the nation to do so. It is only a matter of time before this move is implemented in other major cities across the country. This alleged victory over systemic racism will endanger the minority citizens the measure supposedly protects.

Qualified immunity shields government officials from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not egregiously violate constitutional rights. While the immunity covers most public employees, it is most often associated with the defense of police officers. If, for example, an officer in hot pursuit returns fire and hits an innocent bystander, qualified immunity could protect the officer from a civil lawsuit.

But qualified immunity does not mean that a victim has no recourse—New York City paid out $230 million to settle thousands of suits against the NYPD in 2019 alone. QI shields officers from being held personally liable. A “reasonable person” standard is used to determine if an officer is not immune from a civil suit, though courts generally do give police the benefit of the doubt.

Eliminating QI is meant to reduce police brutality, but the unintended consequences may be grave. Under the threat of prosecution or civil liability, many officers may be reluctant to be proactive or actively pursue criminals. This will be bad for those who live in the highest crime areas and rely on the presence of the police to mitigate criminal activity.

I spoke to a few of my friends who are active police officers. None are New York City cops, but all say that moves like this make them less inclined to do their jobs fully. One said he plans to retire early, while the others said you may as well just consider them firemen or crime scene investigators—that is to say, reactive—rather than police officers. Without qualified immunity, they would fill out paperwork, find shell casings, and that is about it: no more proactive policing, tackling suspects, or running toward gunfire.

If you believe most police officers are racist, you will accept some negative consequences in order to get white, racist cops off the force. But that narrative does not reflect reality. New York, like many large cities, has a majority nonwhite police force. Of the four officers I spoke to, one is Filipino, one Hispanic, and two are black; they are hardly the poster children for white supremacy.

Perhaps all government employees should be open to lawsuits for mistakes on the job. A city sewer worker who inadvertently strikes a gas line and damages a house could be forced into personal bankruptcy to pay the costs. Elected officials would get the same treatment. Without immunity, in his case absolute immunity, Governor Andrew Cuomo could be tried for over nine thousand cases of murder for forcing sick seniors back into nursing homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and face civil suits, too. Ibrahim E. Bouaichi of Virginia was indicted last year on charges that included rape, sodomy, strangulation, and abduction, and was jailed without bond. A judge freed him due to the dangers he faced in jail from the coronavirus; after his release he drove to his accuser’s house and killed her. That judge should certainly be sued.

The summer of 2020 saw violent clashes with police in Chicago, New York, Portland, Seattle, and many other cities; feckless local officials bowed to demands to cut police budgets. Police are feeling pressure to be less proactive, leading to a vicious circle of emboldened criminals and frightened citizens. As a result, some municipalities are hastening to restore police funding that they cut less than a year ago. But it may be too late.

Even if ending QI for police officers made sense, now is the worst time to do it. We are in the midst of a violent crime wave, combined with public hysteria about police violence. Without qualified immunity, police officers will be subjected to an onslaught of frivolous lawsuits aimed at suppressing law enforcement. This will result in more violence, less community cohesion, and further deterioration of public order. Legitimate reform in officer hiring and training is fine when it is needed, but elected officials must end their war on policing and embrace public safety as a fundamental aspect of civic life.

[Charles Love is the assistant executive director of Seeking Educational Excellence, host of The Charles Love Show, and the author of the upcoming book Race Crazy: BLM, 1619, and the Progressive Racism Movement.]

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

Tags

#race riot 1619 project 1776 1964 90 million ACT Abolitionists Achievement Afghanistan African Americans Afrocentric Al Sharpton Alabama Alaska Amazon American Flag American Hero American History American Voters American racism Americans America Amy Coney Barrett Apple Asians Attorney General Keith Ellison Attorney General Letitia James Authenticity BLM Banks Barack Obama Behavior Ben Shapiro Bible Big government Bill of rights Black Americans Black Codes Black Governor Black History Black Leader Black Lives Matter Black Millionaires Black Wall Street Black achievement Black community Black families Matter Black kids Black on Black crime Black people Black racist Black towns Black underclass Black voter suppression Black vote Blacks Black Breonna Taylo Bureau of Justice Statistics CARES Act CBS CCP CEO Elon Musk CNN CRT Calexico California Capitalism Capitol Building Carbon emissions Cartoon Catholic Cato Institute Character Charleston Charter schools Chicago Chinese Communist Party Chinese Christianity Christian City government Civil Rights Act of 1964 Civil Rights Civil War Climate Change Coal Coca-cola College Board data Color Communism Communist party Condoleezza Rice Congressional Black Caucus Congressional Budget Office Congress Conservatives Conservative Conspiracy Theories Cops Counyrt Covid-19 Create a crowd Crime Cuban people Cuba DNA DNC DOJ Dave Chappelle David Boaz Decline Delta airlines Demark Democrat party Democratic Party Democratic socialism Democrats Democrat Derek Chauvin Developer Dick Gregory Disincentivizing District Attorney Diversity Doctors Documentary Donald Trump Dr. Anthony Fauci Dr. Eric M. Wallace Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Earth Day Earth Edgewater's mayor Edgewater\'s mayor Election integrity Electorate Equality Equity Eskimo FDA Facebook Fake News Farmers Fascism Fascist Fathers Federal Government Female Film Fire Fighters Flaws Food For the People Act Foundation Founding Fathers Frederick Douglass Free Market Freedm Freedom's Journal Insitute Freedom's Journal Magazine Freedoms Journal Institute Freedoms Journal Magazine Freedom Free Gangs Gasoline Gavin Newsom Gaza Strip George Floyd George Gascon George W. Bush Georgia German Global Warming Goverment Governor Cuomo Governors Governor Grades Great Society Greek mythology Guns Gwen Berry HBCUs Hamas Hard work Harriet Tubman Hatred Heritage Foundation High School Hillary Clinton Historically Black Colleges and Universities History Hitler Hmong Hollywood House Republican leadership House Housing Hugo Chavez Human Race Hunter Biden Hypocrisy IMDb IRS Ibram X. Kendi Identity politics Inclusion Independence Day Internal Revenue Service Inventors Isaiah Israel Jeff Bezos Jesus Christ Jews Jim Crow Jimmy Carter Joe biden John Cena John F. Kennedy John Kass John Lewis Voting Right Advancement Act John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act John McWhorter John Stossel Jokes Josh McDowell July 4th Jury Verdict Justice K-12 Kamala Harris Karl Marx Katrina Ken Blackwell Kingmaker Klu Klux Klan LAw LGBTQ community LGBTQ LIverals Lab Larry Elder Latinos Latinx Law enforcement Lawsuits Legacy of Slavery Liberal progressives Liberals Liberal Libertarian Los Angeles Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Lyft MLB MLK MSNBC Mainstream media Male Manning Johnson Markets Marxists Marxist Mattel Maxine Waters Media Medicare Men Metaphore Mexican Americans Mexican Michael Brown Michael Ramirez Michelle Avan Middle East policy Military Minneapolis police department Morality Muslim N95 NAACP NAN NCAA NEA Nancy Pelosi National Urban League Nazi Neck Holds Neighborhood Watch Netflix Neutrality New Jersey Noam Chomsky Normalcy Normal Normandy North Carolina Nuclear OPEC Obergefell v. Hodges Ohio Oklahoma Olympic trial Olympics Opportunity Oracle Oscars PPolice Palestinians Pandemic Parental choice Pastor Patrick Hall Patrisse Cullors Personal freedom Platform Power plant President Donald Trump President Joe Biden President Obama Press Principles Private companies Progressive Progress Proud Race Card Race Racial hatred Racism in America Rand Paul Raphael Warnock Reform Rep. Liz Cheney Rep. Maxine Waters Republican Party Republicans Republican Rich Right to Vote Riots Risk Robert F. Kennedy Robin DiAngelo Rockerfeller Roe vs Wade Rule of Law Russians Russia SAT SEC SJW San Diego State University Scandinavia Scholarship School Choice School board Scientists Scripture Sen. Bernie Sanders Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Sexual Harrassment Shawshank redemption Slavery Slaves Slave Snoop Dog Social Justice South Carolina Southern states Soviet Union Spacex Speaker Nancy Pelosi Speech Stacey Abrams Steve Crowder Steve Jobs Stock market Students Suffering Supporters Supremacist Supreme court Sweden Taliban Taxpayers Teachers' Union Tesla The Left The Reverend The Rich The West Thomas Jennings Thomas Sowell Tom Wolf Toymakers Trade workers Truth vs Lies Truth Tulsa 1921 Turnout Twitter US Constitution Uber Uncle Tom Underclass Underground Railroad United States flag United States Unity Vaccine Venezuela Vice President Kamala Harris Victims Victomhood Vietnam Voter ID Votes Voting Rights Act Voting law Voting WGN WHO WWII WWI Walter Williams Warner Bros. Television Group Washington D.C. Water front Weakness Wealth creation Wealth White Guilt White House White People White Supremacist White Supremacy White cops White-Savior Whites White Woke Racism Woke Women WoodsonCenter Work Worldview Wuhan YouTube abnormal academia academics access activists advancement advantage adversary affirmative action air taxi alcoholic anarchy angry anti-corruption anti-semitic anti-trans antifa antiracists apartments arrested arrest assumptions athlete attacks authoritarianism authority bad decisions battle biology boycott budget bill bureaucrats burglaries business owners business cancel Culture cancel cukture cancer charity cheating checks and balances chief executive city council civility civilization classroom climte college colorblind colored comedian comedy community compassion competition compliance conservative content conservative women contempt conviction corporate welfare corrupt politicians cost-free cost courage coverage criminal justice criminal crisis critical race theory culture war culture dad death penality debate decision-makers delusion democracy dictatorship differential poverty discrimination diveristy driveway economic freedom economic policy economic recovery economics economist economy education election reform elections election emotions empathy employees employee employer employment enemies energy entrance exams entrepreneurs equal results ethnicity ethnic evidence executive orders fact-checkers facts fairness faith leader false narrative families farms fear first amendment force gender confusion gender genocide governance government control government schools green new deal greenhouse gases groups guilty gun control gun violence handouts hate speech helpless blacks heroine hero high-school curriculum homelessness homeless homicide human beings human nature hyperbole immigration impeachment individuals inequality inflation information infrastructure inheritance inner-city innovation instruction insurrection interview inventions investments jobs kids king labor force labor lawlessness liberty lies life in prison loans lock downs low income major league baseball mandates manipulated manslaughter masks medicine microaggression minimum wage misdemeanor misinformation misleading mission mixed-race couples mob violence monarchy money monument moral superiority murder name callling national anthem national debt neopronouns normal life obfuscation officers one race opinion oppressed opt out parents patents paycheck payouts people of color people piplines podium ceremony poineers polarization police brutality police policy political exploitation politicians politics polling poverty power president prison private schools problem solving progressives pronouns prosperity protest public health public investment public policy public schools purpose qualified immunity race and culture racial inequalities racism racist nation racist white cops racist radiation radical administration ratings reactor recall reforms regulations reparations resisting arrest respect restaurant retirement right principles riot role model rules for thee and not for me safety scholar school second amendment self-reliance sexism sexuality shootings shoplifting skin color snow social distancing social media social security socialism society spending sports standards state run states stereotypes stimulus subjectivism subsidizing college subsidy suppression systemic racism tactic tax breaks tax the rich taxation taxes taxpayer teachers union teenagers terrorist the poor theft totalitarianism transgender woman transgender trial tribalism triillions tuition unemployment unfair unvaccinated vaccination vaccine cards venture capitalist victim culture victimology violence violent crime virology voluntary voters wages war welfare white privilege women in history