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Under the qualified immunity doctrine, current policy shields law enforcement officers who utilize excessive force against ordinary American citizens. As a result, police departments and enforcement officers lack incentives to change their behavior, leaving victims and grieving families powerless in the face of an unforgiving legal doctrine that provides little to no justice. This Note explores the creation and development of the qualified immunity doctrine within the policing context and argues that its near-impossible and unjust standards have been problematically overextended and drastically need reform by the Supreme Court. The countless lives lost at the hands of those who are meant to serve and protect are not in vain—they serve as the clarion call for legal change.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
698 kB



  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Law Enforcement and Corrections

    • Race and Ethnicity

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 60

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • 989

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022