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Thread: Qualified Immunity in Aurora, CO - I have a question

  1. #11
    Member jd950's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeman View Post
    i've read the provided links. so not only do you have to make the fraction-of-a-second decisions when you're confronted with an armed perp, you now also have to factor in whether your actions might be federally legal but violate state statutes. i'll ask again - why would anyone put up with this? looks like the law isn't effective until 2023. you have two years to find a new job out of state and get out from under this. and that's too bad. i lived in Denver for 9 years; it's a beautiful place. but why expose yourself legally and financially to this? there has to be other departments hiring
    The law is in effect now. Certain data collection and reporting aspects and a couple other bits take effect later, but the parts that govern use of force, civil and criminal liability and POST de-certification are in effect. This is a state law, not a Denver or Aurora thing. It is possible the rural areas and smaller cities have not paid as much attention, but EVERY local law enforcement agency and officer, deputy, etc. is subject to this law, and any agency that does not update its policies to conform is setting its officers up for a disaster.

    Realistically, when a cop has several years on the job, state certification, owns a home, his kids have friends, his wife has a job, etc., just packing up and moving away to start over in some other state is not a minor thing.

    I received a copy of the first draft of the bill within a couple hours of it being introduced and assigned a number. This particular law was not a bi-partisan effort, but some politicians who might otherwise oppose it were reluctant to risk the public/political backlash. Some of the worst bits from the early drafts were actually toned down in the final version. This legislation was rushed through in response to the Floyd and related situations last year. It took only six days to make through both houses and committees and six more days to be signed by the Governor, and the signing delay was only so he could sign it on Juneteenth.

    I will say no more about the politics of the the thing. If anyone is interested in the political side of this, look up the bill to see the sponsors, their backgrounds and other pertinent info. It is all public record. One of them even has an article on her webpage in which she expresses her pleasure that over 200 cops have left the job since the law was passed.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jd950 View Post
    Realistically, when a cop has several years on the job, state certification, owns a home, his kids have friends, his wife has a job, etc., just packing up and moving away to start over in some other state is not a minor thing.

    .....

    I will say no more about the politics of the the thing. If anyone is interested in the political side of this, look up the bill to see the sponsors, their backgrounds and other pertinent info. It is all public record. One of them even has an article on her webpage in which she expresses her pleasure that over 200 cops have left the job since the law was passed.
    i'm former military; i understand the moving thing as well as anyone. and i understand that it's a state law, not just Denver. i just think the job y'all do is tough enough without this kind of hassle. where do you get to the point where you say 'enough' and move on....

    and do you have a name or a link for that person that's pleased that 200 cops have quit?

  3. #13
    Member jd950's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeman View Post
    i'm former military; i understand the moving thing as well as anyone. and i understand that it's a state law, not just Denver. i just think the job y'all do is tough enough without this kind of hassle. where do you get to the point where you say 'enough' and move on....

    and do you have a name or a link for that person that's pleased that 200 cops have quit?
    https://www.leslieherodforcolorado.com/ A link to the newspaper article is on her page.

    Please note; this is publicly available information about a political figure. I am providing it as a convenience and am in no way advocating political or other action, nor do I wish to instigate any political discussion, which would violate the rules of the forum.

  4. #14
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd950 View Post
    https://www.leslieherodforcolorado.com/ A link to the newspaper article is on her page.

    Please note; this is publicly available information about a political figure. I am providing it as a convenience and am in no way advocating political or other action, nor do I wish to instigate any political discussion, which would violate the rules of the forum.
    Law enforcement is always going to have some political element, as police are part of the executive branch enforcing rules made by the legislative branch to put people in front of the judicial branch. As long as we stay tightly on the specific topic (which your posts have been) you're good to go.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  5. #15
    wow, she's a piece of work, eh? and her bill initially called for $100,000 individual liability. LOL. yeah, THAT'LL help recruiting...

    “If they’re leaving because of this accountability, then maybe it’s time to think of a new profession,” Herod told The Denver Post. “It should be that an officer has some personal skin in the game.”

    frankly, i think you guys should have NO personal skin in the game

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Lehr View Post
    This is kind of concerning:

    It also changes the standards of deadly force to say it can only be used as a last resort when absolutely necessary and it cannot be used against a fleeing suspect unless he poses an immediate risk to the officers, according to the Denver Post.

    I hope this is misreported, because if this is the case, then apparently the PC to believe the subject will be a continued threat of death or great physical harm to officers or others portion of Garner, is null in Colorado.

    If the suspect is an immediate threat to the officer, then the officer is using lethal force in self-defense, not to apprehend a fleeing suspect.

    If this is the case, then an armed active shooter, fleeing from officers closing in, seemingly would not be a circumstance that justified lethal force to prevent his escape so long as he didn't point a weapon at an officer, or, if he had dropped his weapon.

    In essence, for almost any armed offense, 'drop the gun and run' will become the new mantra.
    Garner only applies to federal civil rights claims.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jlw View Post
    Garner only applies to federal civil rights claims.
    Be that as it may, guess how many states changed their 'use of force by law enforcement officer' statutes to reflect the Garner finding?

    Many, if not most Academies use some form of case based use-of-force instruction, cases like Garner, Graham, etc. make up the basis of instruction.

  8. #18
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    Hopefully Colorado has a state wide FOP lodge that will provide individual officers insurance and attorneys. Having good attorneys that will fight every false claim and counter sue will go far to protect officers.

  9. #19
    Site Supporter Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
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    Q/I is not what we've been told it is and it damn sure is not what "the other side" claims it is.

    Johanna Schwartz authored a pretty solid study in The Yale Law Journal. Here' the title and abstract:

    How Qualified Immunity Fails

    abstract. This Article reports the findings of the largest and most comprehensive study to date of the role qualified immunity plays in constitutional litigation. Qualified immunity shields government officials from constitutional claims for money damages so long as the officials did not violate clearly established law. The Supreme Court has described the doctrine as incredibly strong—protecting “all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.” Legal scholars and commentators describe qualified immunity in equally stark terms, often criticizing the doctrine for closing the courthouse doors to plaintiffs whose rights have been violated. The Court has repeatedly explained that qualified immunity must be as powerful as it is to pro- tect government officials from burdens associated with participating in discovery and trial. Yet the Supreme Court has relied on no empirical evidence to support its assertion that qualified immunity doctrine shields government officials from these assumed burdens.
    This Article is the first to test this foundational assumption underlying the Supreme Court’s qualified immunity decisions. I reviewed the dockets of 1,183 Section 1983 cases filed against state and local law enforcement defendants in five federal court districts over a two-year period and measured the frequency with which qualified immunity motions were brought by defendants, granted by courts, and dispositive before discovery and trial. I found that qualified immunity rarely served its intended role as a shield from discovery and trial in these cases. Across the five districts in my study, just thirty-eight (3.9%) of the 979 cases in which qualified immunity could be raised were dismissed on qualified immunity grounds. And when one considers all the Section 1983 cases brought against law enforcement defendants—each of which could expose law enforcement officials to burdens associated with discovery and trial—just seven (0.6%) were dismissed at the motion to dismiss stage and thirty-one (2.6%) were dismissed at summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. My findings enrich our understanding of qualified immunity’s role in constitutional litigation, belie expectations about the policy interests served by qualified immunity, and show that qualified immunity doctrine should be modified to reflect its actual role in constitutional litigation.


    Look at the numbers.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Lehr View Post
    Be that as it may, guess how many states changed their 'use of force by law enforcement officer' statutes to reflect the Garner finding?

    Many, if not most Academies use some form of case based use-of-force instruction, cases like Garner, Graham, etc. make up the basis of instruction.
    Yes, but it is common in such discussions for people to incorrectly assert that cases such as Garner and Graham are controlling in state level prosecutions.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

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