One way in which New York City is attempting to reduce police brutality is by modifying qualified immunity that has been available to police officers in the Big Apple for years. Qualified immunity is the legal doctrine that has often protected police officers from lawsuits brought for excessive force or brutality.
How New York City makes suing police easier
The New York City Council has enacted an ordinance, signed by the mayor, that eliminates qualified immunity for police misconduct in cases that involve excessive force or police brutality. In other words, individuals who claim that they are victims of excessive force or police brutality no longer will face a nearly insurmountable hurdle to take legal action against a police officer. Allegations of these types of police misconduct will no longer largely be shielded from legal consequences.
New York state versus federal lawsuits
The new ordinance extends only to lawsuits brought against NYC police officers pursuant to New York law. If a person wants to bring a lawsuit against an NYC police officer based on federal law, qualified immunity remains in place. The New York City ordinance extends no relief in regard to a federal lawsuit.
Making a timely claim
If you or a loved one is the victim of excessive force or police brutality committed by a New York City police officer, you may want to pursue your claim by retaining the services of an experienced attorney. An attorney may determine if your case qualifies under the new provision and then guide you through each step of the legal system to hold law enforcement accountable for your injuries. Time is of the essence in proving police brutality cases, so contact an attorney as soon as possible for a free initial consultation.