Over a year after George Floyd’s death, a potential civil lawsuit against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is still on the table.
Qualified immunity is a usable defense in such a civil trial. It is a principle that protects police officers from being held liable in civil court, even when they use excessive force.
Critics say the rule deprives police violence victims of the meaningful justice that could come from such a case. Supporters insist it’s a crucial layer of protection for police officers, who are forced to make split-second decisions regularly.