WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, R-22, was in Madison County Thursday to introduce a bill that would prevent state and local governments from getting federal grants if they remove qualified immunity protections for law enforcement.
The Local Law Enforcement Protection Act would do the following:
- Ensure all states follow the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Saucier v. Katz, which found that a law enforcement officer can only be found liable in civil suits if the officer’s conduct violated a clearly established constitutional right.
- In order to apply for and receive specified federal grants, states and localities must certify that it is in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court decision and has not taken steps to limit qualified immunity for law enforcement officers.
- A jurisdiction that is unable to make such certification will be ineligible for funding. Any jurisdiction that improperly certifies compliance will be subject to legal action.
- This new requirement will apply to the following federal grant programs:
- Community Development Block Grant Program
- USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
"Our Law Enforcement Officers put their lives on the line every day at great personal risk. In the last year alone, police have faced unprecedented challenges like the pandemic and increasing crime. Accountability and transparency are vital, but removing qualified immunity achieves neither. It opens police officers to unfair and frivolous attacks simply for doing their jobs,” said Tenney. “At a time when activists and politicians in Washington are demonizing and defunding our police, I'm honored to stand with them to deliver the resources and support to keep our communities safe.”
Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood and Oneida County Undersheriff Joe Lisi, among others, were at the event Thursday to show support for the bill.