Congresswoman Cori Bush recently appeared on CNN to talk about qualified Immunity (QI). On the “Inside Politics” program, the St. Louis Democrat says she refuses to vote on any police reform legislation that does not include ending QI. She feels that getting rid of the court-created loophole is necessary to achieve real reform.
As CNN points out, qualified immunity remains a sticking point in congressional negotiations. Primarily, these negotiations revolve around measures in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The act passed the House of Representatives in March. The White House supports it as well. Still, the bill as written faces an uncertain future in the Senate. For example, Republican leaders such as Lindsay Graham and Tim Scott are not keen on eliminating the doctrine. Instead, they are looking for compromises.
However, Rep. Bush is not willing to compromise on accountability. In her interview, she stands firm in her conviction that QI must go. “We compromise, we die,” the lawmaker tells CNN’s Abby Phillip. “I didn’t come to Congress to compromise.”
Rep. Bush also believes that good cops have nothing to worry about if QI is repealed. The only ones affected are the bad cops. Ending qualified immunity will hold bad cops who abuse their power accountable for their misconduct. And holding bad cops accountable lays the groundwork for effective police reform.
“If you don’t hurt people, if you don’t kill people, if you are just and fair in your work,” Rep. Bush says, “then do you need the qualified immunity anyway?”
The answer, according to Cori Bush and many other police reform advocates, is a resounding “no.”
Read the article and watch Rep. Cori Bush’s CNN interview here.