Public Justice Statement in Support of Ending Qualified Immunity
In the face of yet another senseless act of murder at the hands of the police, we are once again reminded of the cruel injustice and violence Black people face at the hands of law enforcement every day. We join Tyre Nichols’ family and community in mourning his death and honoring a life tragically cut short by yet another act of senseless police brutality. We also support our allies and partners as they exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest and call for reform.
In 2021, we joined fellow advocates to urge the Senate to end qualified immunity in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Two years later, with Black people still being brutalized and murdered by law enforcement, we cannot overstate the ongoing, disastrous role that qualified immunity plays in depriving people of their rights, while shielding public officials from being held accountable for misconduct by blocking courts from enacting meaningful redress.
Multiple studies have shown that Black people and communities of color are disproportionately harmed by qualified immunity, where they are more likely to be stopped and searched without cause by police than white people. There must be an end to qualified immunity across all institutions, which has enabled law enforcement and other public officials to evade accountability and act with impunity, while denying justice for the families and communities robbed of their loved ones for far too long. Any legislation brought by Congress must include an end to qualified immunity without exceptions.
Tyre Nichols — and so many others — should still be alive today. Only until law enforcement and other government officials are held accountable will we be able to build a safe and thriving community where Black people and other people of color no longer have to fear for their lives on a daily basis. At Public Justice, we will continue our mission towards building a more just legal system by fighting to remove the legal barriers that stand in the way, while lifting up fellow advocates and leaders calling for lasting change.