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ISBA Publishes Analysis from Valerie Brummel on Qualified Immunity for Police

Writing in the Illinois State Bar Association Bench & Bar Newsletter, Valerie Brummel offers a brief history of the doctrine that shields government officials, including police officers, from liability for civil damages. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, many advocates are calling for changes to the laws that hinder the ability of victims of police misconduct to recover damages in civil lawsuits. In her piece, Valerie argues that the doctrine of qualified immunity has been expanded through judicial decisions in a way that is counterproductive and that it is time to modify that doctrine. She writes, "A paring back of qualified immunity might give police officers pause before violating the Constitution and prevent even unprecedented police misconduct, while limiting the liability of those who reasonably believed their conduct was lawful."

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