N.Y. Dem Rep.'s Push to Eliminate Qualified Immunity Would Financially Benefit His Family and Major Donors

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Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine that protects police officers from civil lawsuits.
Representative Anthony Brindisi addresses a crowd at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, April 8, 2018. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Representative Anthony Brindisi (D., N.Y.), a trial lawyer by training whose family runs a personal injury firm, has backed Democratic efforts to end qualified immunity protections for police officers, which, if successful, would likely provide a financial boon to his major donors and his family.

Officers cannot be held personally liable in such lawsuits unless their actions broke "clearly established" law. However, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, Democrats and some Republicans have called to end qualified immunity entirely to open police officers to civil suits brought by personal injury attorneys.


Supporters of qualified immunity, such as Attorney General William Barr, have argued that removing that immunity will cause police officers to become more skittish about doing their job. Detractors say qualified immunity laws protect officers from liability in cases where such liability should rightly exist. These include cases, compiled by USA Today in May, in which an officer shot a ten-year-old while aiming for a dog, or in which SWAT team members fired gas grenades into the (empty) home of an innocent person.

According to public records, Brindisi received $10,000…
Zachary Evans
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