In federal litigation, the judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity shields officers from liability in lawsuits alleging constitutional violations because courts often require a plaintiff to point to a factually identical prior case.While there are many police accountability mechanisms in need of change, ensuring officers at least face civil liability for misconduct is critical to any reform effort. Lawsuits alone cannot end problematic policing tactics, eliminate racial bias in law enforcement agencies, or bring peace to the grieving families who lost a loved one to police violence.
To broaden the reach and relevance of our legislative advocacy efforts, the National Police Accountability Project has produced white papers on issue areas we are focusing on each legislative session. These papers are intended for both policy makers and the public to provide a robust contextualization of both why we think these issue areas are critical in defending against police violence, and how to implement legislation that is effective and impactful. A selection of these papers are available below.
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