Held to a Lower Standard

Qualified Immunity Serves as a Legal Shield for Police Abuse

It’s 1871, race tensions remain high, particularly in the south during reconstruction. The recently formed Ku Klux Klan began terrorizing freed slaves and their allies through assassination and intimidation. Klan groups spread to such an extent that president Grant signed multiple Enforcement Acts to provide new federal powers to target the Klan and eventually bring about its demise.

The Third Enforcement Act of 1871 remains relevant for today (Section 1983), as…