Rep. Justin Amash is Preparing Legislation That Would End Prohibition Against Suing Police Officers

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Michigan Representative Justin Amash (R) is preparing legislation that would the prohibition against suing police officers.

“This week, I am introducing the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights,” Amash wrote on Twitter.

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“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.”

Amash’s letter notes that “Under qualified immunity, police are immune from liability unless the person whose rights they violated can show that there is a previous case in the same jurisdiction, involving the exact same facts, in which a court deemed the actions a constitutional violation.”

The law’s narrow scope blocks most lawsuits against police officers or departments as a result.

Amash aims to introduce the new legislation, the first major national legislative response to the death of George Floyd, whose death in police custody kicked off a sea of protests nationwide, on Thursday.