ACLU LA Calls for an End to QI

Alanah Odoms is Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana (LA). On May 22, the civil rights activist appeared on MSNBC to discuss Ronald Greene, police reform, and qualified immunity (QI). Alanah Odoms believes it’s time to abolish the doctrine. She calls for an end to QI.

As MSNBC’s Alicia Menendez says, LA Police told Ronald Greene’s family that he died after his car hit a tree. However, an arrest video released two years after Greene’s death revealed otherwise. The footage shows police officers punching and kicking the unarmed Black man. 

The bad cops who killed Ronald Greene acted as “judge, jury, and executioner,” Alanah Odoms tells Alicia Menendez. They took an innocent life. Then they lied about the circumstances. The lack of transparency is troubling. And thanks to qualified immunity, these bad cops can walk away with impunity. 

Sadly, Ronald Greene’s unjust death is not an isolated incident. Per Odoms, it’s part of a “larger constellation of cases” of police brutality. For years, these cases have plagued both the state of Louisiana and the nation as a whole. 

ACLU LA’s Odoms on MSNBC

Alanah Odoms says this must change. 

As MSNBC’s Alicia Menendez notes, Alanah Odoms released a statement on behalf of the ACLU of LA. This statement calls for greater police accountability. Not just for individual officers, but the entire system of policing. Odoms says policing “needs to be reimagined.” When Menendez asks Odoms what immediate changes she wants to see in her state, Alanah Odoms doesn’t hesitate. 

“The most immediate changes are that we need to end qualified immunity,” Odoms tells Menendez. “Police officers and government officials should be…held accountable…when they violate the constitutional rights of citizens…There’s no need for [qualified immunity] anymore.”

As previously reported, the Louisiana House of Representatives recently voted in favor of greater police accountability. On May 11, the LA House passed HB 609. Though the bill doesn’t abolish QI outright, it does limit the doctrine. HB 609 hopes to offer a better pathway to justice for victims of police violence in the Bayou State. Victims like Ronald Greene’ family, who lost their loved one at the hands of bad cops. 

Watch Alanah Odoms discuss ending qualified immunity here.