Rep. Amash Readying Bill That Would Allow Police Brutality Victims To Sue Police
Rep. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) is planning to introduce “the first major national legislative response to the death of George Floyd” with a bill that would “end the prohibition of suing police officers,” reported the Hill.
The doctrine of 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.”
Amash, who recently switched from Republican to Libertarian, believes that the establishment of this doctrine was “an error made by the Supreme Court.”
The death of George Floyd in police custody has reignited discussions about police brutality and this doctrine of qualified immunity.
Amash argues that the death of George Floyd is one of many incidents that highlight how the doctrine is problematic: “This pattern continues because police are legally, politically, and culturally insulated from consequences for violating the rights of the people whom they have sworn to serve. That must change so that these incidents of brutality stop happening.”
Police response to the various protests around the United States regarding this issue have also been criticized, as instances such as a “officers appearing to ram a crowd of protesters with a police cruiser in New York City” have been caught on video.
It is unclear how much support this bill will have, but perhaps it could promote a change in how police brutality is dealt with.