With the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd the light is now being shed on one of the most important issues of this year, qualified immunity. The doctrine that protects police from lawsuits by victims of their brutality could be the answer to the outrage being felt by the death of Floyd.
Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) plans to introduce a bill that would end the prohibition of suing police officers, the first major national legislative response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.
Amash, who recently switched his party affiliation to Libertarian, tweeted Sunday that the bill would “correct” what he claims to be an error made by the Supreme Court when it established the doctrine of qualified immunity. Qualified immunity protects government officials, including police officers, from lawsuits alleging they violated a plaintiff’s rights unless a “clearly established” right has been violated.
In practice, the doctrine blocks most lawsuits against police officers or departments.
Many are searching for answers to the continued abuse by police against minorities and many other instances of brutal police tactics against citizens. Instead of burning down American cities it is time to make real change and change the laws of this country.
We would encourage everyone to share this story and get with their members of Congress to support Congressman Amash’s bill that would curb police brutality in the United States. They are not above the law.