Over the past few years, the residents of Illinois — especially those who live in Chicago — have been subjected to a militarized police state occupation. Innocent family after innocent family each waking up in the middle of the night as heavily armed storm troopers throw flash bangs into their homes, haul them outside in the cold, point guns at their heads, and even handcuff small children. These families are being terrorized in their own homes, many of them left with PTSD, and no one is being held accountable — because the state is the one behind the terror — and the doctrine of qualified immunity protects them all.
House Bill 1727, introduced by Rep. Curtis Tarver sets out to change this paradigm. The aptly titled Bad Apples in Law Enforcement Accountability Act aims to end qualified immunity for cops who violate the rights of citizens.
For those who may be unaware, the Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982. With that novel invention, the court granted all government officials immunity for violating constitutional and civil rights unless the victims of those violations can show that the rights were “clearly established.”
The court held in Harlow v. Fitzgerald that government actors are entitled to this immunity due to the “need to protect officials who are required to exercise discretion and the related public interest in encouraging the vigorous exercise of official authority.”