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“Police Protected from Accountability: Trump Vows Empty Promise?

President Donald Trump recently announced his plans to grant legal protection for law enforcement officers. This controversial move has been met with both praise and criticism due to the implications it could bring. On one hand, supporters of the move argue that it would give law enforcement officers the ability to do their job without having to worry about unnecessary litigation. On the other hand, some assert that this protection gives an implicit green light to law enforcement officers who may act upon prejudice or abuse their power. However, experts say that this protection is already present in many police departments across the nation. Earlier this year the Supreme Court held in Ziglar v. Abassian that police officers are not susceptible to personal damages in court. This means that those alleging harassment or unjust treatment from police officers must go through state and federal processes instead. Additionally, many departments already have their own indemnity policies which gives them more protection than the indemnity President Trump is proposing. Proponents of President Trump’s policy argue that it will give an extra layer of protection to officers who may be facing greater scrutiny and liability due to changing public opinion. Thus, the President’s proposal could act as an incentive for departments to maintain high standards of conduct when dealing with since many may not be able to rely on state or federal processes. Whether President Trump’s plan is necessary or not is yet to be seen. What we do know, however, is that while he is proposing a new policy, law enforcement officers already have considerable protection in most departments. For now, it’s up to Americans to decide if this additional layer of protection is desirable.

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