LEGAL: Colorado Passes Landmark Law Against Qualified Immunity, Creates New Way To Protect Civil Rights

In a fitting tribute to Juneteenth, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a sweeping law enforcement reform bill that marks one of the most significant changes to policing amidst the protests over the brutal killing of George Floyd.

Among the new law’s many reforms, which include banning chokeholds and the use of deadly force for nonviolent offenses, the Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity Act (SB20-217) allows plaintiffs to bypass “qualified immunity,” one of the biggest barriers to holding government agents accountable in court. Ever since Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to combat the Ku Klux Klan, people who have had their rights violated by local and state government officials could sue them for damages in federal court. But in 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court created qualified immunity, which shields officers from any legal liability, unless the rights they violated were “clearly established.”

Thanks to qualified immunity, countless victims have been unable to vindicate their civil rights in federal court.

Read more at Forbes. 

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