February 17, 2021 – An Online Presentation – Courts, Cops, and Consequences: The Effects of Qualified Immunity on the National Interest in Racial Equity.
This program will be presented by the Harrell/Castle pupilage of the Rhone-Brackett American Inn of Court using the Zoom.com platform. With the increasingly mainstream visibility of racial equality movements, such as Black Lives Matter, public interest in and discourse around qualified immunity has grown. Those in favor of qualified immunity indicate that many government officials, particularly police, need to have the reassurance of no-liability discretion to address emergencies. Those that would like to abolish or limit qualified immunity argue that it poses a known threat of unchecked abuse, particularly by un-elected officials, and reinforces institutionalized racism. The Inn has invited Judge Reeves from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi to discuss Jamison v. McClendon, a case that he decided August 4, 2020. The court granted qualified immunity; however, Judge Reeves’s opinion provided a strong factual and historical rebuke of the law the court was required to apply.