Police Bystandership | Questioning Qualified Immunity The Topeka Police Department is part of new program teaching peer intervention, and an explanation of the legal policy of qualified immunity.

Police Bystandership | Questioning Qualified Immunity

Segment 1, beginning at 4:49: Topeka is the only Kansas city selected for new national program that stresses moral courage

The ABLE program (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) from Georgetown University's Program on Innovative Policing is teaching law enforcement agencies that being loyal to fellow officers can include preventing them from taking a harmful action. "We may not know the full impact right now, but we're going to see it in five years," says Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran whose department was among those selected for the initial rollout of ABLE.

Segment 2, beginning at 28:45: Rethinking the policy that shields police and government officials from civil lawsuits

Qualified immunity is a legal principle created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982. Now some are wondering if its use has been expanded beyond its original intent including two U.S. Supreme Court Justices asking the court to reconsider it.

  • Lumen Mulligan, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law at the University of Kansas