Anquan Boldin fights qualified immunity (QI). In a new USA Today op-ed, the retired NFL star, accountability advocate, and Campaign to End Qualified Immunity coalition partner calls out the unjust rule. Furthermore, he doesn’t mince words. “Our legal system affords officers privileges that make a mockery of equal justice under the law,” he writes. Hence, Boldin believes it’s time to change the system.
As Anquan Boldin explains, a family tragedy fueled his desire to fight QI.
Six years ago, bad cop Nouman Raja killed Boldin’s cousin Corey Jones. Terribly, in an unprovoked attack. Afterward, “Raja claimed he acted in self-defense.” However, “the roadside assistance recording revealed the truth: Corey never posed a threat.”
Ultimately, a court convicted the corrupt cop for manslaughter. As a result, Raja got 25 years in prison. But, this guilty verdict was a rare triumph. “His conviction was an exception to the norm,” Anquan Boldin observes. “So it’s no wonder [Raja] thought he could get away with killing my cousin.”
In response, Anquan Boldin took action.
“After Corey’s death, I knew I couldn’t stay on the sidelines,” he writes. “I wanted to make sure other families didn’t have to go through what mine did.”
Thus, Anquan Boldin co-founded the Players Coalition. This coalition consists of more than 1,400 pro athletes. On top of that, these players support social justice and racial equity. “And we’re committed to ending qualified immunity,” Boldin notes.
First and foremost, ending qualified immunity is a matter of restoring public safety. In addition, building public trust. Simply put, without accountability, the public refuses to trust law enforcement. Besides, when someone like Nouman Raja uses their badge as a license to kill, that shatters public safety.
Then, the first step to fixing this crisis is “to create real accountability.” That requires elected officials passing laws that repeal QI for bad cops.
“I played in the NFL for 14 years,” Anquan Boldin concludes. “And the thing we did not want on our team was someone we could not rely on. If I can’t trust you, I’m not playing with you. That same mindset should apply within law enforcement: If I can’t trust you, I don’t want you on my street.”
Read the entire Anquan Boldin op-ed here.