The unjust ‘qualified immunity’ doctrine shields law enforcement officers and other government actors from lawsuits, even when these officials violate the constitutional or civil rights of the people they are sworn to protect. Worse, over the past 50 years, this doctrine has been expanded by the courts, and many states have adopted similar doctrines. As a result, individuals hurt or the families of those killed by police brutality often have no way to hold officers accountable.
AAJ and trial lawyers are working to change this.
Trial lawyers work tirelessly to seek justice for individuals and the families of victims of police brutality and civil rights abuses. AAJ supports their work in several ways. AAJ regularly files and joins amicus briefs supporting individual's rights to bring suits for civil rights violations. AAJ advocates for legislation to remedy the qualified immunity doctrine and provide additional remedies for victims of police brutality. Several AAJ communities help trial lawyers connect and learn from others representing clients injured by police violence and civil rights violations, and AAJ regularly releases resources, including Litigation Packets, articles, and education programs, to support trial lawyers.