In communities all across the United States, we have murderers walking free.
Roaming the streets without regard for human life, they are virtually above the law. These dangerous individuals put all of us at risk. So why are our leaders allowing these killers to avoid prosecution? Because they wear a uniform that shields them from all kinds of accountability.
This special uniform, of course, is blue, and it indicates membership in a group that is essentially above the law: the police.
The rule that gives police this special status and allows them to literally (and repeatedly) get away with murder is called "qualified immunity." But no one should be "immune" from following the law
— least of all the people who supposedly exist to defend and uphold it. Sign the petition to demand that all Americans are held accountable to the same laws. Demand that Congress end the reign of qualified immunity for police, now!
This provision protects police at the expense of the citizenry, by preventing them from being sued for their violence or misdeeds. Even if the courts wanted to handle things differently, judges' hands are tied, meaning that there's no one to actually oversee these armed patrols or hold them to the law. As Anya Bidwell, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, explains
: "Qualified immunity means that government officials can get away with violating your rights as long as they violated them in a way nobody thought of before. And that means that the most egregious abuses are frequently the ones for which no one can be held to account."
Qualified immunity has been used to shield police officers from countless abuses. Analysis conducted by journalists at Reuters shows that, in more than half of all police brutality cases from 2015 to 2019, qualified immunity got cops off the hook from facing serious consequences. That means that, as a result of this legal rule, vicious killers were released back out onto the streets
with nothing to protect you from them. But they get all the protections in the world. In fact, qualified immunity might well be used to prevent George Floyd's murderers from ever facing justice.
Luckily, some lawmakers have had enough. The state of Colorado just passed a new bill into law
that will eliminate qualified immunity as well as prohibit chokeholds and other forms of deadly force. Police will also be required to report on other cops' wrongdoing, or face punishment for failing to do so.
Members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have also introduced legislation to ban qualified immunity and ensure that all police officers can be held liable for violence and civil rights violations. One bill in particular, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act
, would protect all Americans by making sure the police in your neighborhood can no longer harm you with impunity. Congress must pass this bill!Who watches the watchmen? Right now, the only option is you and me.
We must take action to speak out now.Sign the petition to make sure that no one is considered "exempt" from the laws! Tell Congress to pass the Ending Qualified Immunity Act!