BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A bill that would limit qualified immunity for law enforcement in some cases met its end in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The bill was brought by Representative Edmond Jordan and it looked to take away qualified immunity in civil cases against law enforcement when they had been proven to have violated someone’s constitutional rights or were found to be unreasonable.
In the House, the bill passed 53-42, which is the exact number of votes needed to advance. Rep. Jordan argued that under current law, an officer would retain the immunity even after they had been found to be in violation of someone’s rights unless a similar case had already happened before. he emphasized the law would only remove the immunity after a court had already found them to be in violation of rights or to have taken unreasonable actions.
The Louisiana Sheriff’s Association was in support of the bill after lengthy conversations with a task force and Rep. Jordan. They said it would not change how officers would operate and is an after-the-fact change.
But not all law enforcement were in support of the bill. A representative from the Fraternal Order of Police said that police will second guess their actions in the field and it would dissuade people from wanting to become officers.
After extended debate, the bill failed to pass and will remain in the committee.