Members of the progressive “Squad” could torpedo police reform efforts in Congress with their latest demands that any bill “must” include changes to “qualified immunity” protection for police officers.
The demands — which stop short of a threat to vote against any bill that doesn’t roll back qualified immunity but come close to that line — could doom legislation that Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for weeks.
The letter is signed by Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.; Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
Qualified immunity is a protection that shields government officials of all stripes from being personally sued for violating somebody’s rights in the course of reasonably doing their jobs unless the breached rights are “clearly established in the law.” In practice, this often means that police officers who go well beyond their authority in handling an incident cannot be held civilly liable for their actions.
“We are concerned by recent discussions that the provision ending qualified immunity for local, state, and federal law enforcement may be removed in order to strike a bipartisan deal in the Senate,” the letter said. “Given that police violence, as a weapon of structural racism, continues to have devastating and deadly consequences for Black and brown lives across our country, we strongly urge you to not only maintain but strengthen the provision eliminating qualified immunity as negotiations in the Senate continue.”
SUPREME COURT REJECTS CASE OVER ‘QUALIFIED IMMUNITY’ FOR POLICE
The letter adds: “In March, the House passed the bipartisan George Floyd Justice in Policing Act with the inclusion of the provision to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers, and now the Senate must do the same.”
All of the members who signed the letter are considered members of “The Squad” of young, minority, far-left House members except for Jayapal, Schakwosky and Coleman.
With the House split 219-211 in favor of Democrats, these 10 members could scuttle any bill that Democrats are for and Republicans are against by switching sides to vote with Republicans. But their demand that any final legislation include qualified immunity could kill police reform efforts in the Senate where any bill needs the support of at lea
Go To The SourceRead More