Title: Police abuse: Sovereign Immunity protects the abusers
Article: Police Abuse: Sovereign Immunity Protects the Abusers
Police abuse is a national problem with officers over stepping their
bounds and deliberately doing harm to the people that they have sworn to
protect. The country doesn’t need more police officers. It needs to
set a higher standard for the officers to meet. They need to have a
clear understanding of the law and their role in society, so they can
protect without infringing on Civil Rights. However, it is not only
ignorance of the public’s rights that causes abusive situations, but the
officers attempting to secure their jobs by inflating the crime statistics
and personal satisfaction of having power over others that are the root
causes of the abuse. With statewide budget cuts, every government job
is at risk. However by inflating the crime statistics with unjustified
arrests and unreasonable traffic stops, they insure the law enforcement
system will be immune to pay cuts and lay offs. In addition,
individual officers have learned that they won’t be held responsible for !
their actions. Most officers are ethical and honorable. But there
are those who intentionally inflict harm on those in our society they see
as vulnerable. They also target those who have lifestyles or points of
view that differ from their own.
The cases of abuse, misconduct and bigotry are increasing expediently,
because no one in the government willing to address the root cause.
One only has to Google-police abuse or police abuse of power to learn how
severe the problem has become. Officers get away with it because they
can. Victims can sue the law enforcement agencies but the individual
officers are never held accountable for the harm they cause. Sovereign
Immunity is the legal doctrine that states the sovereign or government
and its agents cannot be legally prosecuted for harm they cause. By
definition, Sovereign means monarch, the ruler or permanent head of a
state, especially a king or queen. Law enforcement officials are neither;
they are public servants, not public masters. However, instead of
serving and protecting society, they are rapidly become a bigger threat to
the public than the criminal element. At least with the criminal
element, you can defend yourself without additional criminal charges!
being added. To merely touch an officer is to be guilty of a crime,
yet they are capable of searching your person and property if they have
the faintest suspicion you have possibly broken a law. They no longer
need proof a crime, just the mere illusion is enough to support a
search. They feel entitled to harass and intimidate those they find
objectionable because of lifestyle, political affiliation, religion or skin
In addition, the abusive actions of law enforcement does not make the
public safer. When an officer is actively involved in harassing an
individual or group, they are not available to do the job they were hired
to do. It adds to the response time, which could be the difference
between life and death for the victim of an actual crime.
The changes need to happen on every level-local, state and federal by
holding law enforcement responsible for their actions. Either by
executive order or legislative initiative, the Sovereign Immunity needs to
be rescinded and the individual officers held responsible for their
actions. It would not only force the abusers to take personal
responsibility for their actions, but it would give the ethical officers the reason
to break through the blue wall and expose the abuses. Instead of
depleting the law enforcement ranks, it would open the opportunities to
officers who are willing to work within their legal limits.
In addition, independent civilian review boards with the enough power
to be effective need to be set up in every community. With the
existing systems, a person has to file a complaint with the very people who
did them harm. Frequently, those who attempt to file complaints are
threatened and harassed into silence.
Thirdly, local authorities need to be pressured into investigating the
current abuse cases and following up with the appropriate disciplinary
actions and retribution for the damage done to individual.
Also, public service campaigns that inform the public of their rights
and responsibilities will do much to eliminate confusion and help the
public understand what they need to do when confronted with an officer
in order to remain safe. A well informed person is more capable of
dealing with an abuse situation. By knowing their rights, they can not
only prevent the situation from escalating, but also save themselves legal
entanglements and remove most excuses officers use to detain
Individuals should be compensated for their pain not only by the law
enforcement agency, but the individual officers as well. If the
abusive officers and all those who protect them can loose their homes, cars
and everything they have worked for, they will have more of an incentive
to follow the rules.
The public has to also stay involved by reporting abuses, filing
complaints with the Attorney General of your state, and speaking out in the
media. With the popularity of cell phones with cameras, it is very
easy to document the abuse and share it with the world, thereby exposing
the abusive officers in a way that cannot be disputed. How many more
people have to be harmed or killed before the abuse of power is
addressed? Civil rights are not optional, yet they frequently ignored and those
who are different or weaker become victims to bigotry and ignorance.