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Police Bystandership | Questioning Qualified Immunity

Segment 1, beginning at 4:49: Topeka is the only Kansas city selected for new national program that stresses moral courage

The ABLE program (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) from Georgetown University's Program on Innovative Policing is teaching law enforcement agencies that being loyal to fellow officers can include preventing them from taking a harmful action. "We may not know the full impact right now, but we're going to see it in five years," says Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran whose department was among those selected for the initial rollout of ABLE.


Segment 2, beginning at 28:45: Rethinking the policy that shields police and government officials from civil lawsuits

Qualified immunity is a legal principle created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982. Now some are wondering if its use has been expanded beyond its original intent including two U.S. Supreme Court Justices asking the court to reconsider it.

  • Lumen Mulligan, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law at the University of Kansas

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC, a political columnist for The Kansas City Star and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as the full-time political correspondent for The Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City.
Danette (Danie) Alexander first came to KCUR in 2007 as an intern for Up to Date after completing her B.A. in Communications at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. After her KCUR internship was completed, Danie continued to spend her mornings assisting senior producer Stephen Steigman as a volunteer with the show. Her radio experience also includes stints with public radio's New Letters on the Air as a broadcast engineer and on local public radio as host of a weekly overnight call-in show.
Chris Young