Police officers have a wide variety of tools and methods that they can use when they need to conduct their job duties. Some of these include being able to handcuff people and use carefully measured force to conduct arrests. Because of the nature of the job and the fact that they are supposed to uphold the law, police officers have specific protections from legal action. This is known as the doctrine of qualified immunity.
The United States Supreme Court has issued rulings and guidance on how to determine whether an officer can count on qualified immunity to protect them from civil claims. The bottom line is that it makes it more difficult to take legal action against a police officer who caused harm while they were doing their job duties, but it doesn’t offer complete protection for officers. They still must ensure that they are acting fully within the confines of the law, or they may face repercussions.
While it will be a challenge to seek legal relief from a police officer, it is possible in some circumstances. One of these is that the officer violated a person’s constitutional rights. The requirement of the law stipulates that when a cop violates a statutory or constitutional right that is known by a reasonable person, they don’t have the protections of the doctrine of qualified immunity.
If you reasonably believe that you suffered harm because an officer violated your rights, you may choose to pursue a legal claim. While preparing this case, considering the possibility that the officer will use the doctrine of qualified immunity as a defense strategy is imperative.