The ACLU speaks out against qualified immunity (QI). The renowned civil liberties organization is putting pressure on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. They want the court to reconsider its decision to grant QI to the officers involved in Gabriel Olivas’ death.
The ACLU speaks out along with CTEQI coalition partners the Cato Institute and Americans for Prosperity.
In July 2017, Gabriel Olivas was tased and pepper-sprayed by police officers during a mental-health crisis. As a result, Olivas, who had poured gasoline on himself, was set on fire. Olivas’ family sued the officers. But ultimately, the cops were awarded qualified immunity by the Fifth Circuit Court.
In a recent piece, the ACLU discusses why they are taking on this case. They talk about the need to rethink the police’s involvement in mental-health situations. And they address abolishing qualified immunity.
“When courts are forgiving police for tasing people who are covered in gasoline, things have gone very wrong,” the ACLU notes. They also write: “By doing away with qualified immunity, we can begin to hold officers accountable for their conduct while reimagining their role in our communities.”
Read the entire piece here.