From the ACLU of Colorado: Colorado has ended QI by passing the Law Enforcement Integrity Act


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21 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    This isn’t a silver bullet and there are still many things left to be done.

    But of the many things that need to be done, this was one of them.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

      Everything has to start somewhere.Report

      • InMD in reply to Aaron David says:

        This is the only approach likely to have some impact. State by state, law by law, department by department.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to InMD says:

          I think, from years and years of following politics, that people want to turn a switch and everything is going to be all of a sudden perfect.

          That ain’t gonna happen. It is a process, as what we are really doing is changing society, which by necessity has to be one by one. Law follows Politics follows society. If you try to subvert that process, you are wrapping yourself in the garlands of failure.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    Damn! Go CO!Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Three years to kick in.Report

  4. CJColucci says:

    Civil rights plaintiffs will have to file purely state-law claims in state court to take advantage of this. The federal courts in Colorado will see a decreased workload.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to CJColucci says:

      It is usually more advantageous for plaintiffs to file in state court than federal court. Federal Court judges generally hate tort cases (even the liberal ones) . When I did plaintiff side employment cases, I would always use California’s more liberal law. I got an immediate right to sue and had a long statute of limitations and more favorable law towards employees.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        In NY, my experience is pretty much the opposite, except where, pre-Bostock, the claim was of sexual preference discrimination, which was not then actionable under federal laws. Also, the NYS Human Rights Law did not, until recently, provide for attorneys’ fees except for occasional “flavor of the month” amendments. I’ll be interested to see whether Bostock pushes more claims to federal court or the new fee provisions push more claims to state court. It probably won’t have much effect on Section 1983 claims because those would be removable at the defendants’ option, and defendants usually so opt, though in several years of representing defendants I have never heard a rationale other than that we like federal court better on general principles. I suspect the considerations are mainly aesthetic.Report

  5. Slade the Leveller says:

    The language of the bill is pretty straightforward, at least to this non-lawyer. i wonder why the long lead time is in there.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      Compromise. A Colorado attorney on another blog said this bill was more narrow than meets the eye. It does not apply to prison guards who still have QI. There were other examples.Report

    • Use of force changes kick in September 1, 2020 and require additional training. Less than three months including hands-on training during the virus seems remarkably quick.

      With my old Colorado state legislature budget analyst hat on, the longest delay is in acquisition and deployment of body-cams for every officer, plus retention and archive systems. It will take some time for the state to issue the requirements for such systems, more time to acquire them and do training. Several million dollars have to be put in the local law enforcement budgets. At this point in time, every local government is looking at serious revenue shortfalls. Rural counties in particular will struggle to pay for sufficient gear. Three years doesn’t seem excessive to me.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Again, I would like to point out that qualified immunity is not absolute immunity. Lots of municipalities pay millions of dollars or more for cop related abuse a year. The stories we hear about where QI kicks in are narrow/edge cases that make it passed the demurrer/MTD stage and do not settle.

    The provision that cops are potentially on the hook personally for some of the damages might change behavior eventually.

    ETA: Colorado lawyer acquaintance informed me that CO cops were already partially on the hook for civil rights/1983 violations if it was proven they acted “willfully and wantonly.” It is unclear whether this standard is lowered to include more cases.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    The QI ending sections go into effect immediately. I misread the statute.Report

  8. North says:

    I’m jealous, I hope MN follows suit.Report

  9. Fish says:

    Coming soon to a Colorado near you: More lifted pickup trucks with “RECALLPOLIS” bumper stickers.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Fish says:

      Possibly not, at least in meaningful numbers. SB 217 passed 35-0 in the Senate and 52-13 in the House. That’s 27 of the 40 Republicans in the General Assembly going along. I admit that I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention this summer, but I haven’t heard about much in the way of members getting primaried from the right.

      I have a feeling that the Republican leadership is somewhere between nervous and terrified about what the suburbs are going to do this year…Report