End of "Qualified Immunity" for Police is Detrimental to New Yorkers

While I understand and respect the sentiment of Defund the Police and BLMs, we need balance and not reactionary measures. This reactionary measures to end qualified immunity is merely good for the cameras, but bad for our quality of life and the future of our City. We need change, but this is the wrong type of change and shall do no good for the memory of George Floyd.

We are not doing justice for George Floyd by reacting without consideration of the needs of the community and dealing with realities that are evident by the implementation of new policies. We shall have follow-up articles on necessary law enforcement initiatives.

Crime is Destroying our Tax Base and the Future of our City

Simply, without safe streets we shall see an increase in the deterioration of our tax base and lasting damage to the future of New York for our children and our posterity. Many of these taxpayers have, already, left and many may never return. Around 5% of taxpayers pay 62% of the income taxes in the City. We need these taxpayers to feed the howling furnace of expenses created by the NY City Council and the Mayor's Office. We need to encourage them to stay and replace the many that shall never return.

Sean Hayes 4 NYC City Does not Support the Ending of Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement

I do not support the ending of "qualified immunity" for police officers. I believe that ending qualified immunity shall lead to an increase in crime, less qualified officers on the force, the retirement of more officers and lower morale in the police force. With qualified immunity we shall see an increase in crime that may make the 80s and early 90s look tame. I believe that:

  1. Ending qualified immunity for police shall lead to a chilling effect that shall see police officers limiting their willingness to engage in quick and decisive actions during times of imminent danger to New Yorkers.

  2. Ending qualified immunity may place police officers in a Catch 22. As noted in the Harlow decision: “[a] policeman’s lot is not so unhappy that he must choose between being charged with dereliction of duty if he does not arrest when he has probable cause, and being mulcted in damages if he does.”

  3. Ending qualified immunity may waste time and resources of the police force. We shall see, without a gatekeeping function like qualified immunity, not only justifiable cases, but cases that are frivolous. A police officer would need to, of course, defend both the justifiable cases and the frivolous cases, thus, wasting the time and resources of the police force.

  4. Ending qualified immunity shall lead many officers to question joining the force and may encourage good officers to resign or retire.

  5. Absolute immunity is provided to members of the City Council and to the Mayor during actions conducted in their official capacity. If we eliminate immunity for police officers should we, also, eliminate immunity for other government officials? Would this elimination of immunity lead to more people foregoing government service out of fear of being sued?

  6. The present qualified immunity standard does not preclude the suing of a police officer. The present standard "provide[s] no license to lawless conduct.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald (1984). The ending of qualified immunity shall lead to officers needing to fight frivolous and expensive litigation from many less than scrupulous lawyers. We have civil recourse against officers that "violate[d] clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

  7. This reform and related reforms are reactionary and has more to do with Anti-police sentiment than solving the issues.

PRESS RELEASE From the New York City Council
"Ends Qualified Immunity for Police Officers (NY City Council Press Release)
Int. 2220-A, sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, will establish a local right of security against unreasonable search and seizure and against excessive force regardless of whether such force is used in connection with a search or seizure. If an NYPD employee, or a person appointed by the Police Commissioner as a special patrolman, allegedly deprives a person of this right, the person would be able to bring a civil action against the employee or appointee, as well as against the employee or appointee’s employer, within three years after deprivation of the right. The employee or appointee (or their employer) would not be allowed qualified immunity, or any substantially equivalent immunity, as a defense. The Law Department would be required to post details of these kinds of civil actions online.
“Today we provide the people of New York City an important tool for accountability when law enforcement violates their rights,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “This legislation is simple—it creates a set of civil rights here in New York City, mirroring those conferred by the 4th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, so that people in New York City can hold officers accountable if those officers violate their civil rights. It eliminates the shield of Qualified Immunity to allow victims the opportunity to seek justice."

We Need Change

I agree we need change, but not the radical change that the Mayor and City Council wishes. The New York City Council is caught in an echo chamber that reverberates the voice of the Uber Far Left and lacks the voice of balance, pragmaticism and moderation.

The NYC Council, in order to appease the Uber Far Left, has thrown moderates under the bus. Hopefully, in the upcoming elections in June 2021 (Primary), a voice of moderation shall stand up and fight for our quality of life and fight for the future of New York City. I am doing my small part. We need your help. Support the Cause.

We need moderate and realist voices in our City Council and in the Mayor's Office and we need to vote in the Democratic Primary to save our City from these radicals.

Sean Hayes

(Candidate, New York City Council District 1)

Pragmatic Solutions through Experienced Leadership

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