Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech, congresswomen Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley held a rally March 3 in front of the Department of Justice, reigniting the call to end qualified immunity (QI) at the federal level, per MassLive.
“We need you to put your legacy on the line, Mr. President,” said Cori Bush, “to push this Congress to finally end qualified immunity, because if you don’t, Mr. President, Black people will continue to die at the hands of law enforcement.”
During his address, President Biden affirmed the importance of public safety, saying, “Let’s come together to protect our communities, restore trust, and hold law enforcement accountable.” However, advocates such as Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley point out that so far the government has “failed to offer any tangible policies increasing police accountability.” Last fall, efforts to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would’ve eliminated QI for bad cops, collapsed in Congress, despite the fact that 66 percent of Americans backed this measure.
Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley aim to steer the national conversation back toward this critical issue. Their rally opened with a recitation honoring Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Andrew Joseph III, and other Black individuals who lost their lives due to police brutality—a solemn reminder of what’s at stake in the fight to repeal qualified immunity.
“We are more than trending hashtags,” stated Ayanna Pressley. “These were our loved ones, our babies, people of flesh and bones who loved and were loved.”
Moving forward, MassLive reports, the congresswomen “will deliver a petition with more than 60,000 signatures calling on legislators and the White House to prioritize ending qualified immunity.” As the outlet noted, Pressley has introduced her own police reform bill, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act, endorsed “by more than 70 grassroots organizations.” Because, as the congresswoman expressed at the rally, “We can’t allow these fatal injustices to go unchecked any longer.”
Read the entire article on Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley’s rally to end QI here.