Qualified Immunity vs Systemic Immunity

Considering the police atrocities that have recently captured the airwaves, qualified immunity has become a hot topic. Certainly, methods of limiting official barbarism need to be discussed. Banning chokeholds and ending qualified immunity are in the mix of topics. If you cannot subdue a suspect with a chokehold, which option do you resort to? Is the alternative less dangerous and forceful, or more so?

Qualified immunity may be another quagmire. If I am an officer called to a domestic violence scene, what do I do if I need to restrain a party? Will I risk losing my well being in order to save a victim? Or, will I refrain from engagement to preserve my home and family? Without doubt, increased risk to officers, will result in increased risk to victims of crime. So then what can we do?

Suppose we allow a victim of police misconduct to sue an officer. Does the officer have sufficient wealth to compensate for material abuse? Who has the deep pockets? Who is responsible for police misconduct? Who is in charge of policy and training? Who tells the police where to patrol?

The local system of politicians, that supervise police policy, have the deep pockets to pay abuse claims. The real solution for police misconduct is to place the liability in the hands of elected officials and local governments. The mayors and district attorneys can explain why they do not punish repeat offenders to the voters. Imagine implementing the concept of accountability in government.

Compensation could be taken from the pension funds of municipal workers and elected officials. Skin in the game for a change. Further deterrence could be achieved by including the police union in the deep pockets equation. Will good public servants continue to look away when their interests are put at risk? Will elected officials turn a blind eye when they are held accountable? Imagine the community outrage when civil liabilities require tax increases or cuts in public services. Remove the systemic immunity and a huge deterrent to abuse is established. Ask yourself why, if we can hold corporations accountable, we cannot hold government accountable. This systemic immunity does not make any sense at all.

Given the social unrest circulating today. Change is no longer an option. More unaccountable government will not solve any of today’s critical problems. More government accountability will make great strides towards preventing misconduct and abuse. The systemic problem that exist today is that politicians live by a set of rules that differ from the rest of society. Apparent systemic racism disguises that real problem of systemic immunity, or lack of accountability, for the elected officials in charge.

America is at a precipice. The chosen retort to accusations and currently the effective defense is to say the charges are political. Indeed, our courts, DOJ, and intelligence agencies have been used for political purposes. The Supreme Court is now the grand objective in politics.

IF you like Trump the Obama DOJ was corrupt. If you hate Trump, breaking the law is a noble expression of the public good. Evidence be damned, what matters is who you like. Can you imagine this standard in the criminal courts?

It is high time that politicians become subject to the standards of conduct they impose on others. Can you imagine politicians telling the truth? If a corporation raided a pension fund as politicians have the Social Security Trust Fund, they would be in jail. The RNC and DNC would be buried with Arthur Anderson. Yet, no consequences to date for the financial crisis. No consequences for poor schools and poverty. No consequences for weekly shootings. Hence, mass outrage for the way things are today. There is ample reason to be outraged with the way things are. However, there is more reason to fear the misappropriation of the concept of systemic racism. Granting additional power to a few without accountability is a certain path to exacerbate the demise of our culture and the protections contained in our constitution.