SANTA FE, N.M. (WSVN) — The governor of New Mexico is planning on pushing legislation that would potentially grant immunity to law enforcement officers for their actions in the line of duty.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said the legislation would provide a sort of shield for law enforcement officers as long as they are adhering to their training. Martinez said the bill would not shield officers who intentionally disregard internal law enforcement policies and training.
“I don’t believe that police officers should be under this constant threat of lawsuits that will often cause them to pause,” Martinez told the newspaper. “If they’re following their training, there should be something that protects them.”
Martinez also said the bill would help taxpayers in the long run.
“This bill would protect citizens and law enforcement officers from the massive payouts that taxpayers are giving crooks and thieves who are hurt or injured by police officers who are doing their job,” Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal.
Critics of the legislation say it is misguided and unconstitutional, citing a federal investigation that showed that Albuquerque police had a pattern of excessive force.
“Standing up for officers who are using excessive force and violating the Constitution is exactly the wrong way to move,” said Steven Robert Allen of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico.
As of Tuesday, the bill had not yet been filed.
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