George Floyd’s legacy: Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts could spell the end of police immunity
But American federal courts have never recognized Blackstone’s truism because of a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which protects police or government officials from lawsuits by requiring plaintiffs to establish not only that their rights have been violated, but that state officials did so with a high level of fault.
Given the egregious nature of Floyd’s killing, qualified immunity was not an issue in Floyd’s case. This helps explain why Minneapolis City Council agreed to pay the family US$27 million in damages.
But courts and legislatures are increasingly finding fault with qualified immunity.