• Attention All Comstar Customers, Due to unexpected interference by suspected Word of Blake operatives, the HPG systems update was *not* successful. No data was lost due to our careful and extensive backups; however, we will need to try again next weekend. Sincerely, Comstar Precentor Dune

Police Corruption Thread.

DarthOne

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Reaction score
16,213
Location
Pennsylvania
The US Marshals released a somewhat different appraisal of the situation.


According to their reports, they were serving a warrant and when they called his name, he pulled out a gun so they shot him. That said I can't help but be somewhat suspicious of this when they also can "neither confirm nor deny" that they found a weapon, you'd think it'd be pretty easy to find if it was in his hand when they shot him.
...yeah I'm gonna call horseshit until they can provide video evidence to the contrary.
 

LordsFire

Internet Wizard
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Reaction score
23,683
And this is why qualified immunity needs to die.
And once again, reformed, not abolished.

If a cop needs to deal with potentially being sued every time he does a traffic stop for a speeding ticket, every time he arrests someone for any offense, if he is vulnerable to a lawsuit at literally any time for any reason, then he cannot do his job.

Even if he wins every single case, he will be financially ruined by the process, and that's before you go into the time lost and energy/emotional toll.

We do need it reformed so that not just cops, but also prosecutors, can be held accountable when their actions clearly exceed and/or abuse their legal authority, but if a cop is on the hook for tens of thousands in damages because he pulled over a moderately wealthy guy who was doing 30 over the speeding limit, that's just not tenable.
 

King Arts

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Reaction score
2,366
And once again, reformed, not abolished.

If a cop needs to deal with potentially being sued every time he does a traffic stop for a speeding ticket, every time he arrests someone for any offense, if he is vulnerable to a lawsuit at literally any time for any reason, then he cannot do his job.

Even if he wins every single case, he will be financially ruined by the process, and that's before you go into the time lost and energy/emotional toll.

We do need it reformed so that not just cops, but also prosecutors, can be held accountable when their actions clearly exceed and/or abuse their legal authority, but if a cop is on the hook for tens of thousands in damages because he pulled over a moderately wealthy guy who was doing 30 over the speeding limit, that's just not tenable.
Why should they have more protection than regular people being sued by bad actors? Also no they don’t need qualified immunity, the police unions propbably have clauses where the state pays for cops legal defense.
 

LordsFire

Internet Wizard
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Reaction score
23,683
Why should they have more protection than regular people being sued by bad actors? Also no they don’t need qualified immunity, the police unions propbably have clauses where the state pays for cops legal defense.
1. Because the duties of a police officer inherently involve them interacting with citizens in ways said citizens will find offensive. Do you think drug dealers and muggers like being arrested?
2. 'Probably' is an incredibly poor argument to make. 'Based on this guess I have about how things are, we should implement X policy.' Really not convincing.
3. Public sector unions should be illegal anyways.
4. I don't particularly want my taxpayer dollars funding limitless numbers of nuisance lawsuits in the courts anyways.
 

Rusty Shackleford

"Open Your Eyes Man!"
Nuke Mod
Moderator
Staff Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Reaction score
5,942
And once again, reformed, not abolished.

If a cop needs to deal with potentially being sued every time he does a traffic stop for a speeding ticket, every time he arrests someone for any offense, if he is vulnerable to a lawsuit at literally any time for any reason, then he cannot do his job.

Even if he wins every single case, he will be financially ruined by the process, and that's before you go into the time lost and energy/emotional toll.

We do need it reformed so that not just cops, but also prosecutors, can be held accountable when their actions clearly exceed and/or abuse their legal authority, but if a cop is on the hook for tens of thousands in damages because he pulled over a moderately wealthy guy who was doing 30 over the speeding limit, that's just not tenable.
Maybe a compromise? Make sure qualified immunity does not extend to police suits where the allegation of a wrongful death has happened with no known probable cause. In that case via training or hiring it's definitely the police departments ultimate responsibility.
 

Abhorsen

Local Degenerate
Moderator
Staff Member
Comrade
Osaul
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Reaction score
11,393
Location
Before the Ninth Gate
Maybe a compromise? Make sure qualified immunity does not extend to police suits where the allegation of a wrongful death has happened with no known probable cause. In that case via training or hiring it's definitely the police departments ultimate responsibility.
Not nearly good enough. First, qualified immunity is fundamentally the wrong standard: it basically says it's not a crime the first time, and also everything's the first time.

When a cop violates your rights, he should be able to be sued successfully. A quick dismissal of obvious cases is a good idea to stop frivolous suits, perhaps similar to an anti-SLAPP law without the fee shifting.

Perhaps I'd care more about protecting cops if they didn't constantly violate rights in new and inventive ways all across the country, and could do so with impunity. Maybe then I could be brought down to a reasonableness standard. But in the mean time, this judicial invention which has no place in the law needs to die.
 

Bear Ribs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Reaction score
22,682
Not nearly good enough. First, qualified immunity is fundamentally the wrong standard: it basically says it's not a crime the first time, and also everything's the first time.
That's not qualified immunity. That's the "clearly established law" test. Qualified immunity is protection from lawsuits unless a "Reasonable Person" would realize the law is being broken and/or rights are being infringed.

Removing said test while leaving qualified immunity in place would fairly fit @LordsFire's desire to reform it without removing it entirely.

When a cop violates your rights, he should be able to be sued successfully. A quick dismissal of obvious cases is a good idea to stop frivolous suits, perhaps similar to an anti-SLAPP law without the fee shifting.

Perhaps I'd care more about protecting cops if they didn't constantly violate rights in new and inventive ways all across the country, and could do so with impunity. Maybe then I could be brought down to a reasonableness standard. But in the mean time, this judicial invention which has no place in the law needs to die.
The issue really isn't the law proper. It's that police and judges are joined at the hip, much in the same way lawyers are, and lawyers are the larval form of politicians. As a result, trying to reign in any of them is a Sisyphean task as the judges are much more likely to side with the lawyers and police they work with daily than some rando. Politicians are likely to prefer laws that protect themselves and by extension lawyers since they came from lawyers, and Justices ultimately are just more advanced judges who have the same tendency to side with people they work with daily. As a result all those groups look out for each other first and foremost and will seize on any excuse to protect their own away from the filthy peasants.

That's how things like qualified immunity that are actually reasonable and necessary for police to function get twisted into the nightmare they are today via things like the Clearly Established Law test, that desire to protect the in-group.
 

The Whispering Monk

Well-known member
Sotnik
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Reaction score
10,928
I'm increasingly of the opinion that most of the "good" cops were driven out following the summer of love, anyone still left in the various police departments are not worthy of a "back the blue" mentality.
I personally know a number of police officers who have endured the bullshit that's occurred in order to keep serving. So no, your statement is wrong. Most of the ones I know are retired military who are still working the streets as sheriff's deputies.

Besides, 'backing the blue' does not mean that I don't support getting crooked cops off the street.
 

Abhorsen

Local Degenerate
Moderator
Staff Member
Comrade
Osaul
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Reaction score
11,393
Location
Before the Ninth Gate
That's not qualified immunity. That's the "clearly established law" test. Qualified immunity is protection from lawsuits unless a "Reasonable Person" would realize the law is being broken and/or rights are being infringed.
No, it's not. You don't seem to know what you are talking about here.

Qualified immunity is the clearly established law test. Straight from wikipedia:
In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known".
Or take this post from the Volokh Conspiracy (A highly respected Lawyer blog with authors that have been cited by the Supreme Court):
Qualified immunity is a beleaguered doctrine, and for good reason. The doctrine protects government officials from suits for money damages when they violate the Constitution in a way that was not "clearly established" at the time.
More over, in cases where they find qualified immunity holds, a judge doesn't even have to establish whether the behavior was against the constitutional/law, so you can have cases where the same stuff is done over and over again.

Now to be clear, I don't even blame you for getting this wrong: politicians who back the blue love to lie about qualified immunity, because it is so broad and useful. I recall especially well Tucker's awful reporting on it.

The issue really isn't the law proper. It's that police and judges are joined at the hip, much in the same way lawyers are, and lawyers are the larval form of politicians. As a result, trying to reign in any of them is a Sisyphean task as the judges are much more likely to side with the lawyers and police they work with daily than some rando. Politicians are likely to prefer laws that protect themselves and by extension lawyers since they came from lawyers, and Justices ultimately are just more advanced judges who have the same tendency to side with people they work with daily. As a result all those groups look out for each other first and foremost and will seize on any excuse to protect their own away from the filthy peasants.
I also disagree that judges are the chief problem. In my opinion, the chief problem is qualified immunity existing, and how that impacts a cops incentivized approach to the job. Currently, a cop doesn't consider violating the constitution or any law as something that's likely to come back to affect them in anyway, as do the police department and the city. By making any of these financially liable (I really don't care which, but I'd prefer the police department), it changes the incentive structure for that organization, which will alter the culture. They will care about civilian rights only when infringing on them causes a problem for them.

Judges (not counting the Supreme Court here) aren't the problem because they are mostly bound by the Supreme Court holding that this judicial invention exists. The Supreme Court I do blame for creating this, and they are one of two ways to fix this.

I personally know a number of police officers who have endured the bullshit that's occurred in order to keep serving. So no, your statement is wrong. Most of the ones I know are retired military who are still working the streets as sheriff's deputies.

Besides, 'backing the blue' does not mean that I don't support getting crooked cops off the street.
Cops aren't your friend. You absolutely shouldn't back the blue, as they are the foot in the boot on your neck. Who goes to your house and takes your guns because of a red flag law? The Thin Blue Line. Who forced stores to be closed down during lockdowns? The Thin Blue Line. Who pretend that they're your friend, and frame others for kidnapping a governor? The Thin Blue Line.

The Blue is a tool of those in power, and at best, that is all they are. They are quite fine standing by and obeying unjust orders. Are they necessary? Yes, but they so rarely do good those in power don't want them to do.
 

Bear Ribs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Reaction score
22,682
No, it's not. You don't seem to know what you are talking about here.

Qualified immunity is the clearly established law test. Straight from Wikipedia:
In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known".
Dear freakin' god, you quoted my post saying that Qualified Immunity is an immunity to civil suits unless a "reasonable person" would have known better and claim I don't know what I'm talking about by quoting... that it requires a reasonable person to have known better.

I think we have a record for knee-jerk reactions here.
 

Abhorsen

Local Degenerate
Moderator
Staff Member
Comrade
Osaul
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Reaction score
11,393
Location
Before the Ninth Gate
Dear freakin' god, you quoted my post saying that Qualified Immunity is an immunity to civil suits unless a "reasonable person" would have known better and claim I don't know what I'm talking about by quoting... that it requires a reasonable person to have known better.

I think we have a record for knee-jerk reactions here.
Somebody shouldn't be talking about kneejerk reactions, and it isn't me.

Did you see the "clearly established" part at the beginning of the sentence? How about what the Volokh Conspiracy described it: when they explicitly highlighted (using quotes) the "clearly established" part of the doctrine?

See, you seemed to misunderstand what the reasonableness affects. It's not whether the 'person should have known better', it's if it violates 'clearly established law'... exactly the thing you pretended was separate from qualified immunity here:
That's not qualified immunity. That's the "clearly established law" test. Qualified immunity is protection from lawsuits unless a "Reasonable Person" would realize the law is being broken and/or rights are being infringed.
See, your (wrong enough) description of qualified immunity elides the clearly established part of the definition, which is core to the problem.

Let's read a little bit more:
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court in Saucier v. Katz[29] formalized this rigid order, or sequencing, in which courts must decide the merits of a defendant's qualified immunity defense. First, the court determines whether the complaint states a constitutional violation. If so, the next sequential step is to determine whether the right at issue was clearly established at the time of the official's conduct.
Oh, look, they again talk about how a right being "clearly established" affects whether a qualified immunity defense matters.

The 'clearly established law' test is nearly the entirety of qualified immunity, and an entirety of people's complaints with it, and why it needs to die.

That, along with the fun game of the Saucier sequencing (described above), no longer having to be followed, so the government gets a fun game of heads I win, tails you lose: if the complaint doesn't state a constitutional violation, the courts will point out that, and toss it out on its merits. But they can also ignore that part, and instead just point out it's not an established right, and toss it out for that and thus never establish a right in the first place.
 

Bear Ribs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Reaction score
22,682
Somebody shouldn't be talking about kneejerk reactions, and it isn't me.

Did you see the "clearly established" part at the beginning of the sentence? How about what the Volokh Conspiracy described it: when they explicitly highlighted (using quotes) the "clearly established" part of the doctrine?

See, you seemed to misunderstand what the reasonableness affects. It's not whether the 'person should have known better', it's if it violates 'clearly established law'... exactly the thing you pretended was separate from qualified immunity here:


See, your (wrong enough) description of qualified immunity elides the clearly established part of the definition, which is core to the problem.

Let's read a little bit more:


Oh, look, they again talk about how a right being "clearly established" affects whether a qualified immunity defense matters.

The 'clearly established law' test is nearly the entirety of qualified immunity, and an entirety of people's complaints with it, and why it needs to die.

That, along with the fun game of the Saucier sequencing (described above), no longer having to be followed, so the government gets a fun game of heads I win, tails you lose: if the complaint doesn't state a constitutional violation, the courts will point out that, and toss it out on its merits. But they can also ignore that part, and instead just point out it's not an established right, and toss it out for that and thus never establish a right in the first place.
Man, you just can't resist doubling down, can you? You're literally going and repeating my points back to me while pretending I said the opposite.
That's not qualified immunity. That's the "clearly established law" test. Qualified immunity is protection from lawsuits unless a "Reasonable Person" would realize the law is being broken and/or rights are being infringed.

Removing said test while leaving qualified immunity in place would fairly fit @LordsFire's desire to reform it without removing it entirely.
It's dead easy to keep Qualified Immunity while removing the clearly established law test. Let's take your Wikipedia quote:

In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known".
And fix it:

In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known".
And there you go, current source of just about all the abuses fixed, Qualified Immunity still in place.
 

King Arts

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Reaction score
2,366
1. Because the duties of a police officer inherently involve them interacting with citizens in ways said citizens will find offensive. Do you think drug dealers and muggers like being arrested?
2. 'Probably' is an incredibly poor argument to make. 'Based on this guess I have about how things are, we should implement X policy.' Really not convincing.
3. Public sector unions should be illegal anyways.
4. I don't particularly want my taxpayer dollars funding limitless numbers of nuisance lawsuits in the courts anyways.
I'm going to respond to number 4 because it is most important. Maybe then we should reject the retarded political legal system we built. Common law is retarded and English tradition sucks, allowing people to just keep suing each other was a mistake. Make it so that people who bring any lawsuits without merit go to jail for wasting the courts time. Honestly we should not allow people to sue each other for money damages unless they actually lost money.
 

Abhorsen

Local Degenerate
Moderator
Staff Member
Comrade
Osaul
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Reaction score
11,393
Location
Before the Ninth Gate
And there you go, current source of just about all the abuses fixed, Qualified Immunity still in place.
... That's not Qualified Immunity anymore, as it has been described for years. Instead, it would be likely be called something else. And you complain at me for being pedantic? Yes, it would be immunity that is qualified, but it would likely be given a whole knew name if it went through such a drastic change.

You are tying yourself in knots at this point. The concept of qualified immunity means the 'clearly established' part. That is the heart and core of it as it is used in common parlance. You continue to demonstrate your lack of familiarity with the topic the more and more you speak.

Man, you just can't resist doubling down, can you? You're literally going and repeating my points back to me while pretending I said the opposite.
You didn't say the opposite. You said what I described was not qualified immunity. You even quoted yourself saying so. You implied it was another thing, called the 'clearly established law test.' Spoilers: no one in the law world calls it that. They call it qualified immunity. Saying that I'm wrong about this either means you are being pedantic in a way that not even lawyers are being, or you don't know what you are talking about.

And then your description of qualified immunity right afterwards is objectively wrong for omitting the clearly established part, which answers the question about being pedantic versus ignorance in favor of ignorance.
 

Bear Ribs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Reaction score
22,682
... That's not Qualified Immunity anymore, as it has been described for years. Instead, it would be likely be called something else. And you complain at me for being pedantic? Yes, it would be immunity that is qualified, but it would likely be given a whole knew name if it went through such a drastic change.

You are tying yourself in knots at this point. The concept of qualified immunity means the 'clearly established' part. That is the heart and core of it as it is used in common parlance. You continue to demonstrate your lack of familiarity with the topic the more and more you speak.
No it doesn't, and it's not.

You didn't say the opposite. You said what I described was not qualified immunity. You even quoted yourself saying so. You implied it was another thing, called the 'clearly established law test.' Spoilers: no one in the law world calls it that. They call it qualified immunity. Saying that I'm wrong about this either means you are being pedantic in a way that not even lawyers are being, or you don't know what you are talking about.
Because you are wrong, and cannot understand the difference between actual qualified immunity and one specific test that's being abused, the clearly established law test. As for no one in the law world calling it that, let's see:

Stanford Law said:
(2) qualified immunity at common law could be overridden by showing an officer’s subjective improper purpose, while today a plaintiff must satisfy the stringent clearly-established-law test;
This one's especially useful as they comment specifically on the difference between qualified immunity with and without the clearly established law test, making it clear that actual legal professionals, as opposed to forumite bullshitters, know there's a difference.

Wikipedia said:
Critics have argued that qualified immunity makes it excessively difficult to sue public officials for misconduct.[32] Criticism is aimed in particular at the "clearly established law" test. This test is typically read as requiring not only that an official's behavior likely violates written law but that there exists a clear judicial precedent that establishes the behavior as unlawful.[33][34]
The Second Circuit has a specific test to identify clearly established law.
But if the test of "clearly established law" were to be applied at this level of generality, it would bear no relationship to the "objective legal reasonableness" that is the touchstone of Harlow.
In 1982, the Supreme Court adopted the current test for the doctrine. Qualified immunity is generally available if the law a government official violated isn’t “clearly established.”
Nobody in the law world uses it that way except the Supreme Court, the second circuit, multiple prominent law schools, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and thousands more I didn't need to include because your claims are already shot to hell. The requirement for an existing case is in fact merely the clearly establish law test and not the entirety of qualified immunity. Indeed that specific test is the source of most of the abuses and acrimony of the concept.

And then your description of qualified immunity right afterwards is objectively wrong for omitting the clearly established part, which answers the question about being pedantic versus ignorance in favor of ignorance.
Everything they accuse you of, they do themselves.

One of us certainly has a reputation on this board for pedantry, and it's not me. And it's hard to imagine greater pedantry than taking where I edited the definition to show how it could be used without qualified immunity and claiming it's objectively wrong because it's been edited.
 
Top Bottom