NYS Sen. Myrie wants to strip cops of ‘qualified immunity’ that shields officers from civil suits

June 30, 2020

Originally published in New York Daily News on June 25, 2020.

ALBANY — A Brooklyn state Senator wants to remove a long-standing barrier legal shield that protects police officers from civil suits for on-the-job misconduct.

Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Crown Heights) is introducing a bill that would change the way police are held accountable in courts by eliminating qualified immunity, which shields public officials like cops from any legal liability, unless the rights they violated were “clearly established, at the state level.

Critics, Myrie included, contend that qualified immunity makes it near impossible to hold cops accountable for wrongful deaths and too often lets police brutality go unpunished.

“Victims of police brutality have been unable to get any sort of relief because at every turn the courts have used the doctrine of qualified immunity to shield officers from liability,” Myrie told the Daily News. “In the absence of federal action, I think it’s important for New York to step up and show people that we will hold police officers liable for misconduct.”

Read the full piece at the New York Daily News here.