Constitutional provisions meant to protect our individual rights from the government apply to the government and its agents. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“No one should get used to their rights. Predicting with certainty which ones, if any, will go, or when, is impossible.”—Mary R. Ziegler, legal historian
The Supreme Court has spoken: there will be no consequences for cops who brutalize the citizenry and no justice for the victims of police brutality.
Although the Court’s 2021-22 rulings on qualified immunity for police who engage in official misconduct were largely overshadowed by its politically polarizing rulings on abortion, gun ownership and religion, they were no less devastating.
The doctrine of qualified immunity was intended to insulate government officials from frivolous lawsuits, but the real purpose of qualified immunity is to ensure that government officials are not held accountable for official misconduct.
In Egbert v. Boule, the Court gave total immunity to Border Patrol agents who beat up a bed-and-breakfast owner, in the process carving out a massive exception to the Fourth Amendment for border police (and by extension, other federal police) who unconstitutionally use excessive force. As journalist Ian Millhiser concludes, “Egbert v. Boule is a severe blow to the proposition that law enforcement must obey the Constitution.”