While I agree with those demonstrating in the streets that reform is necessary, I’m concerned that the gulf between the objectives that the demonstrators presumably want to accomplish based on the interviews I’m hearing and the means at hand to accomplish them is too great for them ever to be accomplished. In the interests of furthering the discussion let me propose my program for improvement:
1. Eliminate qualified immunity
“Qualified immunity” is the legal doctrine by which government officials including police officers are shielded from suit for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity. It also needs to be clearly understood that no action that is expressly against the policy of the jurisdiction by which government officials are employed can be deemed “within their official capacity”.
2. Sovereign immunity should be restored
There has been a movement over the last half century to allow state and local governments to be sued for the misconduct of government officials. The City of Chicago was sued for the misconduct of Jon Burge and those under his command. I have no problem with with people being sued over their own malfeasance. I do have a problem with the people of Chicago continuing to pay for things that are beyond their control. The accountability should be at the ballot box not from the public purse.
3. Reduce the power of police unions
Police unions are among the impediments to providing necessary discipline to police forces.
4. Better training for police officers with more community involvement.
IMO if all of those things were done in combination it wouldn’t unconditionally eliminate the greater problem that people are demonstrating about. It might mitigate it somewhat. I don’t know what measures would unconditionally eliminate the problem in a country of 330 million people.