47 Seton Hall L. Rev. 543 (2016-2017)
No Man Is Above the Law and No Man Is Below It: How Qualified Immunity Reform Could Create Accountability and Curb Widespread Police Misconduct

handle is hein.journals/shlr47 and id is 555 raw text is: 










   No   MAN Is ABOVE THE LAW AND No MAN Is BELOW
IT:  How QUALIFIED IMMUNITY REFORM COULD CREATE
     ACCOUNTABILITY AND CURB WIDESPREAD POLICE
                           MISCONDUCT


                                                  Lindsey de Stefan*


                           I. INTRODUCTION

     In recent months,  it has been difficult to ignore the overwhelming
presence  of police violence in the media.'  Hardly  a month   has gone
by without headlines  asserting use of excessive force, brutality, or other
misconduct   in some  corner  of the United   States.! It seems that no
region  of the nation has been unaffected  by the violence, with civilian
deaths  at  the hands   of law  enforcement cropping up from San
Francisco3 to New  York City' to South Carolina,' and almost everywhere
in between. And with public confidence in law enforcement at a



*J.D. Candidate, 2017, Seton Hall University School of Law; B.A., Ramapo College of
NewJersey. Special thanks to Professor Alice Ristroph and Katheryn Pereyra-Caldwell
for their support and guidance throughout the writing process.
    Commentary  and criticism about American police has spanned various forms of
media and traversed many genres. See, e.g., The Daily Show withJon Stewart (Comedy
Central television broadcast Dec. 3, 2014) (discussing the grand jury's decision not to
indict the officer who killed Eric Gardner, explaining: I think what is so utterly
depressing is that none of the ambiguities that existed in the Ferguson case exist in
the Staten Island Case, and yet the outcome is exactly the same: No crime, no trial. All
harm, no foul.).
    2 See, e.g., Unarmed Black Mo. Teen Shot After Altercation, Police Say, CBS NEWS (Aug.
 10, 2014,  1:30  PM),  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-brown-shooting-
 unarmed-black-missouri-teen-shot-after-altercation-police-say/; Josh Sanburn, Behind
 the Video of Eric Garner's Deadly Confrontation with New York Police, TIME (July 23, 2014),
 http://time.com/3016326/eric-garner-video-police-chokehold-death/.
      See Timothy Williams, San Francisco Police Officers to Be Dismissed over Racist Texts,
 N.Y. TIMES (Apr. 3, 2015), http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/us/san-francisco-
 police-officers-to-be-dismissed-over-racist-texts.html?_r=0.
      See Christopher Mathias, Video Shows NYPD Officers Beating Brooklyn Man After He
 Appears to  Surrender, HUFFINGTON   POST   (July 23,  2015,  1:11  PM),
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nypd-beating-thomas-
 jennings_55bOff8fe4bO7af29d57alcO.
       See Michael S. Schmidt & Matt Apuzzo, South Carolina Officer Is Charged with
 Murder of Walter Scott, N.Y. TIMES (Apr. 7, 2015), http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/
 08/us/south-carolina-officer-is-charged-with-murder-in-black-mans-death.html? r=0.


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