The Police Benevolent Association (PBA) is the world’s largest municipal police union. The PBA serves New York City. And in a recently released memo, the PBA admits that limiting qualified immunity (QI) for bad cops in New York City was the right thing to do.
New York is the first city—and largest municipality—to limit qualified immunity for police.
In an article for the New York Daily News, Chad Reese discusses NYC’s recent decision to curb qualified immunity for its police officers. Reese is the activism policy manager for the Institute for Justice (IJ). IJ is a coalition partner for the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity.
In his piece, Reese mentions how the decision has already had a positive effect on police accountability. As an example, he brings up the PBA’s admission that ending QI will indeed encourage cops to obey the law.
As Reese points out, the Police Benevolent Association memo urges police officers to think twice before using excessive force. The union cautions cops to limit their searches of both individuals and private property. They call on their members to resort to these measures only in cases that are “clearly and unequivocally within the bounds of the law.”
In other words, Reese writes, “When you remove qualified immunity, police officers start taking constitutional rights more seriously.”