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Is It Time to End Qualified Immunity for Cops?: A Debate

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



How does one balance two important but sometimes competing public interests, specifically the need to hold police officers and other public officials accountable for their actions versus the need to shield them from harassment and legal liability? In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court laid the foundations of an answer in a case involving civil rights protesters who sued two police officers for arresting them at a segregated bus stop in Mississippi. Although the arrests violated the constitutional rights of the protesters, the Supreme Court ruled, the officers made the arrests in abidance with the law at the time and thus maintained a degree of legal immunity. This case formed the basis of "qualified immunity," a legal doctrine that, in most circumstances, prevents cops and other government officials from being sued for doing their jobs. In 1982, the Supreme Court went a step further, ruling that qualified immunity protected public officials unless they clearly and egregiously violated a person's rights. Critics of qualified immunity argue that it impedes substantive police reform, allowing officers to more easily kill, injure, or harass people without accountability. But supporters of qualified immunity argue that it is necessary, shielding officers—who must often make split-second, life-and-death decisions—from bankruptcy and vindictive or frivolous personal lawsuits. Is it time to end qualified immunity for cops? Audio only.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL283502

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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