The city of New York moved to end qualified immunity, making it the first city in the United States to do so. Qualified immunity is the practice of not being able to file a civil lawsuit against a government official performing his or her official duties unless they "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Law enforcement officers will quit and many will not join any agency. Too much will be put on the line with litigation initiated after any arrest. Many arrests will not be made in fear of litigation and exposure.
In New York, the City Council voted to end the practice for New York Police Department officers. The NYPD is the largest police force in the United States, with some 36,000 officers. The move came days ahead of the start of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial. The killing of George Floyd while in police custody sparked international protests and a debate over policing reform across the U.S. last summer.