Dave Myers denounces qualified immunity (QI) in his recent op-ed, published in USA Today. A retired officer running for sheriff in San Diego County, Myers joins scores of good cops in publicly condemning the unconstitutional rule.
“As a 35-year veteran of a major law enforcement agency,” says Dave Myers, “I’ve seen enough cases of police misconduct to know that ending or modifying qualified immunity will increase government accountability, encourage better official conduct and give victims of police abuse their day in civil court.”
Dave Myers knows the score. He’s well aware that QI negatively impacts public safety. The court-created doctrine offers “extraordinary protection” to rogue actors. Over the years, this protection has built a detrimental barrier between police and the public. As a result, citizens can’t trust the police—including the good cops who truly want to help. Qualified immunity, then, “is bad for victims, law enforcement and communities.”
Dave Myers wants to change that. He explains in USA Today how abolishing QI will benefit law enforcement. “Accountability creates a healthy work force and dramatically reduces liabilities,” he notes. Plus, there’s already solid proof that it works: “States like Colorado essentially ended qualified immunity,” Myers indicates, “and we have yet to see the financial ruination of law enforcement officers in those states.”
Along with Colorado, New Mexico and California have recently passed legislation that targets police misconduct. Meanwhile, policymakers in New York and Vermont have introduced bills aiming to end qualified immunity—and other states are soon to follow in the new year.
“Governmental agencies must provide oversight…that our law enforcement personnel are doing their jobs in the best interest of the communities they serve,” Dave Myers concludes. Ending qualified immunity, he says, is “an investment in restoring the trust between our law enforcement agencies and our communities.”
Read the entire Dave Myers op-ed here.