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Resource ID: #27533
Subject: Police
Source: Phoenix New Times
Date: 2015-12-02



Most states have sovereign immunity laws that protect public entities from being held liable for the illegal actions of their employees, but there's a weird quirk in Arizona's law that prevents people from being able to sue a public entity in civil court if the employee committed a felony. The only exception is if the entity had absolute knowledge of the act ahead of time. It's a situation of unintended consequences that doesn't come up very often, but that some in the legal world feel needs to be change β€” Prominent Phoenix lawyer Mike Manning calls this law β€œan egregious violation of a citizen's civil rights.” In my story, a young woman was sexually assaulted by a Phoenix Police Officer, and because he will almost certainly be convicted of a felony, the statute prevents her from being able to sue the Phoenix Police Department.

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