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Axios

New Mexico eliminates qualified immunity

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed a law on Wednesday that eliminates a legal defense known as qualified immunity, making it easier to prosecute government officials, including police, for civil rights violations. Why it matters: New Mexico is now The third state to eliminate qualified immunity as a national debate unfolds over legal protections for police brought about by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in 2020. Stay on top of the latest trends market and economic perceptions with Axios Markets. Sign for free Context: Qualified immunity protects government officials from liability for civil rights lawsuits, unless they violate a clearly established constitutional right. This generally means that civil servants are protected from an overwhelming majority of civil rights lawsuits. Mexico’s new bill allows victims to sue the employer for the individual who violated their rights for damages limited to $ 2 million. What they are saying: “New Mexicans have certain rights guaranteed by our state constitution,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. “These rights are sacred and the constitutional document that provides for them is the basis of everything we are privileged to do as public servants of the people of this great state.” “In fact, good public servants work tirelessly every day to protect these rights, to ensure them, to safeguard the new Mexicans. But when violations occur, we, as Americans, know very well that the victims are disproportionately people of color and that there are often obstacles in the fight for these inalienable rights in court. “” In response to some of the comments surrounding this measure, I will say: This is not an anti-police bill. This bill does not endanger any rescuer or public servant – as long as they conduct themselves professionally within the limits of our constitution. and with a deep and active respect for the sacred rights that guarantees us all as new Mexicans. ”The big picture: Steve Hebbe, chief of police in Farmington, New Mexico, and president of the state police chiefs association, told Wall Street Journal that the law will only “get a few people some justice in the state court” and that it will not address more urgent issues, such as police training. “Communities and taxpayers will have to pay for it. It will be easier to sue the police, but no will result in police reform, “said Hebbe. More from Axios: sign up for the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

Paula Fonseca