Professor Joanna Schwartz discusses her new book, Shielded: How The Police Became Untouchable. Prof. Schwartz draws on her experience as a civil rights attorney and law professor to explain how Section 1 of the Klu Klux Klan Act of 1871, known as Section 1983, set the groundwork for protections for state employees, most notably police officers, when they violate a citizen’s civil rights. As civil cases against police violence reached the Supreme Court, more protections were established in the form of Qualified Immunity, Indemnification, and injunctive relief. Professor Schwartz ends by offering some suggestions on how to address these issues at a local, state, and federal levels.
Joanna Schwartz is a professor of law at UCLA, where she teaches civil procedure and courses on police accountability and public interest lawyering. Her writing, commentary, and research focus on police misconduct, qualified immunity, indemnification, and local government budgeting.