WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With cities across America in turmoil over the death of George Floyd, a U.S. lawmaker plans to introduce legislation this week that he hopes will end a pattern of police violence by allowing victims to sue officers for illegal and unconstitutional acts.
U.S. Representative Justin Amash, a conservative independent from Michigan, won support from a Minneapolis Democrat on Monday for his “Ending Qualified Immunity Act,” which would allow civil lawsuits against police, a recourse that the Supreme Court has all but done away with.
The high court’s adoption (here) of the qualified immunity doctrine has largely shielded police from financial settlements for victims or grieving families. The doctrine protects cops even when courts determine that officers violate civil rights, a Reuters investigation showed here
“The brutal killing of George Floyd is merely the latest in a long line of incidents of egregious police misconduct,” Amash told colleagues in a letter. “This pattern continues because police are legally, politically and culturally insulated … That must change so that these incidents stop happening.”