Category: Police Accountability Project

Qualified immunity: A get out of court free card for abusive police

Police officers almost always avoid legal liability for abusing citizens because of the doctrine of qualified immunity. The doctrine has its roots in ugly chapters of American history — from enforcement of racial segregation at a lunch counter in Mississippi; to the National Guard killings of students at Kent State; to President Nixon’s firing of

Police misconduct biggest single cause of 2,900 wrongful convictions

Police misconduct is a leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. Just over 2,900 people have been exonerated in the U.S. since 1989 according to data from the National Registry of Exonerations. That amounts to 25,900 lost years for those stuck behind bars. Over 37% of those cases involve police misconduct, and over

Wandering cops shuffle between departments, abuse citizens

Timothy Loehmann wanted to be a police officer like his dad. The Independence, Ohio, police department hired him but the chief found that Loehmann “could not cope” with firearms and showed a “dangerous lack of composure.” Independence allowed Loehmann to quietly leave the department. But nearby Cleveland hired Loehmann without checking his background. So it