As if the George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and Laquan McDonald murders, and the many others at the hands of rogue police weren’t enough, we are now yet again faced with more senseless shootings by police resulting in serious injuries to multiple innocent people in Columbus Georgia, and the death of an innocent young man, Amir Locke, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It doesn’t seem to ever stop. And adding to the problem are no-knock warrants that are causing many unnecessary police killings of innocent people right in their own homes. Rogue police are out of control and qualified immunity for police needs to end.
According to news media reporting, a police officer in Georgia has been placed on administrative leave after shooting multiple innocent people while firing at an alleged car thief on February 7, 2022. Reportedly the driver of the vehicle being investigated drove toward the officer in an attempt to flee the scene and the officer pulled out his weapon and fired and struck several innocent individuals. The alleged suspect reportedly was not caught. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/cop-shoots-multiple-bystanders-by-mistake-trying-to-stop-car-thief/ar-AATBlw1?ocid=msedgntp.
The news media has reported that on February 2, 2022, Amir Locke, 22, was killed by Minneapolis Police as they executed a no-knock warrant during a homicide investigation. A no-knock warrant is a warrant issued by a judge that allows law enforcement to enter a property without immediate prior notification of the residents, such as by knocking or ringing a doorbell. A video was released showing Amir Locke on a couch covered by a blanket and holding a legally possessed gun in the moments before he was shot by Minneapolis police officers. The police used a key to open the door. It was confirmed during a press conference that Amir Locke wasn’t named in the warrant that was used to enter the residence. The chief said that the officer who shot Amir Locke was in a “difficult” position. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/who-was-amir-locke-minneapolis-b2008012.html.
No-knock warrants have proven to be a very bad idea that many times has a bad result such as what happened to Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old emergency room technician from Louisville, Kentucky who was in bed when police shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, while executing a no-knock warrant, used a battering ram to enter her apartment and fired five shots striking her five times and killing her. https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html. It was a senseless killing as police had been investigating two men who they believed were selling drugs out of a house that was far from Breonna Taylor's home, but a judge had also signed a no-knock warrant allowing police to search her residence because the police said they believed that one of the two men had used her apartment to receive packages.
And how about what Chicago police did to Anjanette Young, an African American social worker who was changing after returning home from work, who was stunned when a group of male Chicago police officers, who were looking for someone else, while utilizing a no-knock warrant, took a battering ram to her door and stormed into her home with guns drawn, and then while she was unclothed, handcuffed her during the wrongful raid in 2019. https://www.msnbc.com/the-reidout/reidout-blog/anjanette-young-settlement-chicago-police-rcna8747.
These are just a few of the many examples of out of control acts by rogue police that we unfortunately have been forced to live with as a country —and it doesn’t have to be this way. I say it doesn’t have to be this way because there are things that lawmakers and courts could do to reduce and even perhaps eliminate the problems we have with out of control rogue police. Yes, I am talking about those two dreaded words that police departments and police unions do not want to hear, and actually fear —POLICE REFORM!
There are many things that need to be reformed before we will ever get to a semblance of civilized police across the country. A starting point would be to eliminate what is called “qualified immunity”. First off, it is important to know that qualified immunity is not a law, it is a judicial doctrine conjured up by the Supreme Court that other courts must follow. That’s why Congress can consider ending it or changing it. It is a legal shield that allows a police officer to not be civilly (financially) liable if they violate someone’s civil rights. It is also important to know that qualified immunity has nothing to do with criminal liability. Getting rid of it or changing it does not increase the chances of an officer getting locked up. Ending qualified immunity increases the chances that a victim or their family gets financial compensation for the wrongful acts of rogue police.
Police love the idea of qualified immunity because it basically gives them license to violate peoples’ rights in many different ways without much worry about any legal consequences to them. Police know that judges are notorious for dismissing civil rights cases brought by injured plaintiffs against rogue police by utilizing qualified immunity as a legal defense. The Supreme Court long ago made sure that rogue police who hurt and kill people are above the law when it conjured up the doctrine of qualified immunity. But Congress can eliminate it —but until such time that we actually get some real people who actually care about the best interests of the people to represent us in Congress, and don't allow themselves to be influenced by the police lobby and police unions, it probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever.
Another thing that would be quite helpful in police reform would be to have a national database where all police departments would have to list the number and type of misconduct complaints that have been submitted against each officer in their respective departments. Police departments, even during civil rights litigations, have their unsavory lawyers fight against efforts to have the misconduct records of the rogue police disclosed. While there are certainly a lot of honest and hard working police officers on all departments across the country, nevertheless, there are tons of bad apples in police departments all over the country that are being protected by their governmental employers —they don’t want the people to know they have dangerous police who may injure or kill you. This must change. Since police departments are being allowed to have dangerous out of control rogue police who are hurting and killing innocent people, then the people -the taxpayers- should have a right to know who they are. There are laws that require that the identities of sexual predators and child molesters be made public in order to safeguard the public from those predators, so too should there be laws that require that the identities of corrupt and dangerous police officers who have a history of injuring and killing innocent people be made public so people can safeguard themselves from these criminal cops who have far too much protection. I did an interview with Lakeshore Public Radio on May 20, 2021, where I spoke about the need for the elimination of qualified immunity for police and the need for a national database identifying who the rogue police are in all of the police departments across the country. https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/local-news/2021-05-20/regionally-speaking-thursday-may-20-2021#stream/0 —my segment runs from the 26:34 to 46:25 mark on the timeline.
I well know how corrupt police officers operate, and I know how corrupt police departments operate in protecting their rogue officers. I know because I personally experienced it in the god forsaken state of Indiana during a period of my adult life, as Indiana, I learned through personal experience, has no problem with employing ill suited people of immoral and criminal character to wear police uniforms. I also learned through personal experience that Indiana has a plethora of corrupt judges who have no problem in protecting unlawful activities of corrupt police who have involved themselves in various criminal activities in addition to violating innocent peoples’ civil rights. I wrote about these things in detail in my book Motion for Justice: I Rest My Case. https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Justice-Rest-My-Case/dp/1662473427/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1536738363&sr=8-3. I also recently spoke about my experiences with corrupt law enforcement and how I defended myself against rogue police in Northwest Indiana during the “2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration” event that was hosted by Indiana University Social Justice Conference. My topic was titled “Standing Up for One’s Civil Rights with Brian Vukadinovich”. https://iu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/t/1_0g3ysnz3?fbclid=IwAR2kZGmdEYD-xVVry5YQYpfx-4qrtTZv3k9SHSQc8QhWMc7iUPWseZU_ZQI.
It looked as though after the George Floyd tragedy, and the eventual conviction of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, that the prospects for eliminating qualified immunity were gaining steam, but unfortunately it is now down to a whisper, if even that, unfortunately today. The public outroar and outrage was quite significant, and the government was worried, but the government knew that eventually the pressure demanding police reform would subside little by little and then the pressure would be off, and it would be back to business as usual again —and that is exactly what happened. If we expect qualified immunity and no-knock warrants to finally be put to an end, and if we expect our government to protect us from rogue police, then the people are going to have to get loud again —and I mean loud! “It is a sin to be silent when it is your duty to protest” ~ Abraham Lincoln.