New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Wants Police To Be Immune From Lawsuits
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico wants a new law that would grant legal immunity to police for their actions in the line of duty.
Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal how police should be shielded from the courts:
I don’t believe that police officers should be under this constant threat of lawsuits that will often cause them to pause. If they’re following their training, there should be something that protects them.
Steven Robert Allen, of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico, countered:
Standing up for officers who are using excessive force and violating the Constitution is exactly the wrong way to move. I don’t know what problem the governor thinks she’s addressing, but she seems to be going in the wrong direction.
Martinez claimed that protecting police from civil laws would protect citizens:
This bill would protect citizens and law enforcement officers from the massive payouts that taxpayers are giving crooks and thieves who are hurt or injured by police officers who are doing their job.
Martinez was unable to cite one specific case. but said a cop could chase and tackle a suspect under the new law, which is what police can already do.
Civil cases without merit can already be thrown out by judges.
Martinez claimed that the new law would not protect police who intentionally disregard internal law enforcement policies and training.
However, that is exactly what juries and judges decide when they rule on civil cases.