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July 27, 2021 | In The News

Florida Congressmen Want to Protect Qualified Immunity for Police Officers

Last week, two Republican congressmen from the Sunshine State–U.S. Reps. Bill Posey and Greg Steube–threw their support behind a proposal which “protects qualified immunity for police officers serving at the state and local levels across the country.”

The two Florida Republicans backed U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney‘s, R-NY, “Local Law Enforcement Protection Act.” Tenney’s office stressed why the bill was needed when she brought it out last week.

“The legislation reaffirms the Supreme Court case, Saucier v. Katz, which held that a police officer is only liable if an individual’s constitutional rights have been clearly violated. The Local Law Enforcement Protection Act would prevent state and local governments that remove qualified immunity protections for police from applying for certain federal grants,” Tenney’s office noted. “The past two years have marked the deadliest period for law enforcement in decades with hundreds of law enforcement officers being killed in the line of duty. As several states and localities have reduced police budgets significantly and are now eroding qualified immunity protections, the Local Law Enforcement Protection Act provides the necessary legal protections to police officers serving the communities with honor and integrity.”

“Law enforcement officers put their lives in harm’s way to ensure our communities are safe each day. I find it shameful that House Democrats continue to call for the police to be defunded and for qualified immunity to end, especially as crime and attacks against police are on the rise in America,” said Tenney. “It is imperative that we stand with law enforcement to ensure they’re not subject to harassment and frivolous litigation simply for doing their jobs. I’m honored to introduce the Local Law Enforcement Protection Act with my colleagues and to stand with our heroes in blue.”

Posey also weighed in on the bill last week.

“Our law enforcement officers protect our businesses, homes, and neighborhoods, at great personal risk to themselves and their families,” said Posey. “We should not deprive them of the same protections that we extend to other government employees. Rather, we should make sure our law enforcement officers continue to have the support they need to safely and successfully do their jobs and keep the peace.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Financial Services and the Agriculture Committees. So far, there is no counterpart over in the U.S. Senate.