NYC Council Speaker: Qualified Immunity Is A ‘Broken Legal Doctrine’ | The Last Word | MSNBC 1

NYC Council Speaker: Qualified Immunity Is A ‘Broken Legal Doctrine’ | The Last Word | MSNBC


Corey Johnson, New York City Council Speaker, joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the bill passed in New York City that makes it easier to sue police for misconduct like excessive force by ending qualified immunity, a doctrine that has been used to protect officers “who are violating people’s civil rights.” Marq Claxton adds that ending qualified immunity will have a positive long-term impact by changing individual officers’ behavior “which is hugely significant” in shifting “toxic police culture.” Aired on 03/30/2021.
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Drawing upon his experience as a former chief of staff on the Senate Finance Committee and as an Emmy-winning executive producer and writer of "The West Wing," Lawrence O'Donnell examines the compelling and impactful political stories of the day. O'Donnell convenes diverse panels of guests, including a variety of politicians and cultural voices, to offer unique viewpoints and perspective. In his signature style, O'Donnell highlights the latest news developments and offers his take on the political stories driving the national conversation.

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NYC Council Speaker: Qualified Immunity Is A ‘Broken Legal Doctrine’ | The Last Word | MSNBC


  1. Imagine if we held cops to the same standard as people that have normal jobs. Imagine screwing up as bad as cops and still not get fired.

    1. You mean Fox. Newsmax. QANON. They use their legal qualification as an entertainment channel to broadcast fake news.

    2. Can you give me an example of when the cap screwed up badly and didn’t get fired. People screw up on jobs all the time and don’t get fired

    3. @Nancy Ross Know your left wing news channels used the same tactics Fox News use and is also covered by it

    4. We can & need to say the same about politicians! Especially the republicans as they have shown over & over again that they do not believe in America , it’s Constitution,Laws, and it’s people unless they need to use people to push their lying narratives to get elected!!

  2. Today was so powerful. The Video, the 911 and the only other witness I saw. My regret is that the Prosecutor could not leave that pic of Chauvin over Floyd’s lifeless body on the screen for an additional 9 minutes.

  3. They should ALSO be licensed and hold private liabilty insurance.
    Cities shouldnt pay civil damages. The officers private insurance should.
    You lose your license or insurance you lose your career.
    AND retrain them PROPERLY.
    The populace is NOT the threat.

    1. Thank you SO VERY much! I wrote similar but man yours is way way better! Thx again I will work on doing a better job!

      Your comment is SPOT ON!!

  4. About time. The police think they can get away with violations and forget they are employees of the people , not the other way around. Somewhere along the line they became a big gang. Now its time to knock them down a peg.

    1. They are not a big gang as that is just absurd. My son is a police officer in a big city. What surprised me the most about the job is not what happens in our big cities at night but how often it happens. There isn’t a week’s shift anymore where he isn’t needing draw his weapon or forcefully having to arrest someone. The stuff he deals with constantly is nasty and unless you walk a mile in their shoes you have no idea. It’s really bad.

      Keep in mind that everything police do is not for them but they are required to get involved in everyone else’s problems on our behalf. It’s bad enough that in doing so, they constantly risk their own lives but now if they ever misread a situation so many people want to put them prison because of such police hate like yours It’s hard because they have very little time to figure out what is going on when they arrive on a scene. That situation alone with people of your mindset is driving people out of those jobs. I prefer now that my son looks for another job which is a shame because he is a dam good police officer. Big college football player, smart, good instincts and very considerate of others but at the same time can handle himself well on the streets. He certainly isn’t a racist as evidenced by his partially black finance and her son he now raises. I just don’t want him to have to be perfect all the time just to stay out of prison.

      Now if you start adding in endless civil lawsuits on top of all that when they have to get involved in everyone else’s problems where people by the very nature of what they are getting involved with won’t be happy, then why even do such a job? The lawyers will have a field day. Why do something that will end up being negative income? You do get that nobody likes being arrested.

      My son called me last night and he told me that if they do like in New York to his department he will respectfully resign. He was at the top of his academy and well respected. He wants to get out of the job while he is still in his twenties and use his collage degree to do something else for a living.

      Be careful for what you wish for as you aren’t taking them down a peg but making the job not worth having. You may just need to join a real gang in our cites for your own protection as police won’t be there anymore for you. Good luck but the good news is my wife and I will then be able to sleep better at night far less worried.

    2. The only reason some officers will resign if they lose qualified immunity is because they know they cant get away with the crimes they commit

    3. @edwin guzman Not true as I know one officer for sure, my son, where that won’t be the case. Take your anti police hate rhetoric elsewhere please as you don’t know what you are talking about. Perhaps it’s time for you to man up and do these jobs. You can show them all how it’s supposed to be done. Talk is cheap from the bravery behind your keyboard.

    4. Perhaps you should research how many people were murdered in police custody resulting in 5 days paid suspention

    1. A CONSERVATIVE United States Supreme Court recently ruled that Police Officers CAN be sued in a Court of Law.

  5. Protests were essentially a result of qualified immunity. So they responded with brutality and excessive force, because they knew they had qualified immunity

    1. The COMPLETE idiocy of responding to protests about excessive abusive of force WITH excessive abuse of force, proving the point of the protestors over and over again.

    2. So should they have just let the people engaging in over 200 violent protests just do their thing? I live in the Minneapolis Metro Area and we wouldn’t have a city anymore with that logic as they would have burned down the entire city if the National Guard didn’t stop them when they finally did.

      Qualified immunity is needed for all first responders such as police, firefighters, and EMT’s to do their jobs. People that think people will ever do such such jobs without some legal protection in our litigious society don’t live in the real world. It does nothing for criminal lawsuits or people not acting in good faith on the job with civil lawsuits. So what’s the problem with qualified immunity? People just spout nonsense with no understanding of what they are spouting.

      Please explain why we had over 200 violent protests and on what planet is such a thing ever justified?

      Please explain your theory on just what is police brutality?

      Please explain no outrage over the massive carnage with crime going on in cities today? I thought you all cared about people?

      I don’t understand the “woke” stuff as an older guy and just think you kids today are mostly nuts who don’t have a clue. I am waiting for your reasonable explanation because the best I can tell one doesn’t exist.

    3. @thegapman67 BTW, explain your no outrage over the murder of innocent people and the carnage of the radical right wing violence at the nations Capitol, just because they lost an election.
      The stupidity is astounding!!

    4. ​@Bonnie Kerr You lack perspective Bonnie. The capital riots were only one violent protest and the only people that died that day were conservatives. The one police officer that died that day was a Trump supporter and he didn’t die from the violent mob directly with that whole fake news fire extinguisher story. He is believed to have had a stroke but we don’t know for sure. He texted his bother he was fine that evening after the evet. The whole fire extinguisher story was total fabricated news or better stated fake news. It’s what the do to try and make conservatives look bad. His body was later used as political prop by those that believe he part of the fraternal order of racist police and should be defunded.

      Now where is your outrage over the one unarmed female 14 year Air Force vet killed by a the police or security guard? Could your selective outrage have to do with him being black and she being white? Could it have to with police are fine killing those unarmed for no good reason as long as you don’t support such causes they support?

      Now contrast that with the over 200 violent protests across our nation with death tolls now in the hundreds. Thinks then blow over in the other direction and for you it’s this big problem. Did you know things are still out of control in Portland today? Three people needed to be arrested for such violence just last Sunday.

      If you didn’t have double standards you would have no standards at all. Now who is really being stupid here?

  6. Colorado has been taking steps to get rid of qualified immunity. I believe at this point, cops are at least personally liable for up to $20,000. But we need to hold the Union’s responsible as well! There is no need for citizens to be paying for bad policing.

  7. Police officers break the law and the tax payers foot the bill?? Just make them pay from they’re budgets or they just keep doing it.

  8. eliminating qualified immunity will eliminate “lawful criminal activity”. cops will know they can’t do what they do anymore.

  9. You think police aren’t walking around knowing they have qualified immunity. That’s why they walk around with the arrogance that they do.

  10. Qualified immunity, absent accountability and liability = abuse of power and authority and is thus anarchy. The police are a law unto themselves.

  11. Qualified immunity should only be applicable to honest mistakes. Excessive use of force, abuse of power, gross negligence, etc. shouldn’t be covered.

    1. This I certainly agree with. Honest mistakes and legitimate use of force when absolutely necessary would eliminate the need for qualified immunity.
      It isn’t even in the constitution.
      What I don’t get is the fact there have been officers who lost their jobs, when they waited until the last second to take a life. They showed adequate restraint. Those instances also on video and everyone could see they did the right thing.
      Then there are more like Chauvin who was not in danger. Floyd was not a threat. He wasn’t fighting back. He had to move so he could breath.
      It’s heartbreaking that people like Chauvin have gotten away with murder, while others were punished because they found themselves in a bad situation, and had to survive.
      It’s equally heartbreaking that unarmed men like Floyd are murdered, and punks like KKKyle Rittenhouse walk by police when he should have been considered an active shooter.

  12. In my opinion, the standard should be just the opposite. We bestow a very large amount of power to law enforcement. If they break that trust, by breaking the laws they are supposed to enforce, they should be dealt with more severely, for breaking that trust.

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