Sen. Rand Paul: Ky. law enforcement concerned about losing ‘qualified immunity’ amid police reform

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 2:55 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Congress continues to debate the police reform bill known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

While the bill is stalled, Senator Rand Paul said he has met with numerous law enforcement leaders across Kentucky to discuss the bill, including right here in southcentral Kentucky.

Paul says officers’ and deputies’ biggest concern is losing what is called ‘qualified immunity.’ That law protects state and local officials, including police officers, from personal liability unless they are determined to have violated what the court defines as an individual’s “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights.”

“There’s a question of whether or not they were doing their job, or whether or not it was something that was an accident that happened and not a purposeful action,” said Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). “Now, I do think that when there is misbehavior or a rogue cop, or a cop does something wrong, and they should be punished. I’m assured by the sheriffs in Kentucky, as well as the police chiefs in Kentucky that this does happen.”

Democrats aim to eliminate qualified immunity while republicans are more resistant to doing so.

The bill would also set up a national database registry of police misconduct and ban racial and religious profiling.

“There’s actually a registry we have in Kentucky for a bad policeman, if he’s fired, he or she is fired from a department that they can’t be hired in another department if they get put into the database. And that has been made better by the state legislature in the last go around,” said Paul.

Paul doesn’t believe police reform should be done on a federal level.

“I think there can be some police reform. Ideally, most of it should be done at the state level, because most laws on crime are state laws, not federal laws,” he said.

Copyright 2021 WBKO. All rights reserved.