New Mexico’s governor, Susana Martinez, is in the process of introducing legislation that would grant immunity to members of the state’s various police departments for their actions in the line of duty. Martinez who’s a Republican, wants to give cops legal immunity for their actions while ‘protecting and serving’ the public.
In a statement, she said: “I don’t believe that police officers should be under this constant threat of lawsuits that will often cause them to pause. If they’re following their training, there should be something that protects them.”
Martinez, who’s in her second and final term as governor, has been a staunch supporter of the law enforcement community. She became governor after serving as a district attorney. In her first term as governor, Martinez passed legislation that required anyone who was arrested for a felony to provide a mandatory DNA sample, even if they were never convicted. She has also recently introduced legislation to restore the death penalty in New Mexico.
In touting the bill as a win for taxpayers, Martinez said: “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.”
Opponents of the legislation said it is terribly misguided and probably unconstitutional. Martinez’s legislation comes on the heels of a federal investigation that showed the city of Albuquerque police had engaged in a pattern of using excessive force. Although Albuquerque had entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to correct their pattern of abuse, currently no noticeable change has taken place.
Due to her stance on several hot-button issues, Martinez had been previously mentioned as running mate for multiple Republican presidential candidates. As a woman, she is against birth control; as a person of Hispanic heritage, she is against immigration; and as a state legislator, she voted against job growth while pushing for reduced taxes on corporations.