CTEQI Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/16–1/20

Welcome to the weekly update from the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity! Here, we give you a wrap-up of the latest developments and notable news as we continue our state-focused fight to abolish the unjust rule. 

This week, Los Angeles demands justice for Keenan Anderson; the Chicago Police Dept. refuses to fire Oath Keeper cop; West Virginia introduces bill to end qualified immunity; and more! 


NBC 4 Los Angeles: ​​Family, Officials Call for LAPD Reform After Death of Keenan Anderson

“‘If you continue to blame the victim and not hold officers accountable, why would they ever stop killing us?’ said Dominique Anderson, Keenan’s younger sister. ‘The police are supposed to be here to protect and serve the people, and yet they abuse their authority and have a lack of respect for human life.’”

Read more here.


The NYPD is under scrutiny yet again, following the release of footage showing a police van hitting and killing Brooklyn pedestrian Ronald Anthony Smith last April. New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board is reviewing the incident for potential NYPD policy violations, while the state attorney general’s office is conducting a criminal investigation.

Read more here. 

The ACLU of New York condemns a recent announcement that the NYPD will join a surveillance network that’s part of the Amazon Ring video doorbell system. What makes this venture alarming, notes the civil rights organization, is that “There is no independent oversight over the full capabilities of Amazon Ring and what it allows law enforcement to do.”

Read more here. 


Public safety advocates are bringing police accountability to the forefront of the new legislative session with the introduction of HB 1025, the bill to end qualified immunity, sponsored by state rep My-Linh Thai. Despite the expected pushback from law enforcement lobbyists, the measure has found an “unlikely ally” in Michael Transue of the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police. 

Read more here. 

In 2019, Puyallup police jailed 55-year-old postal worker Jane Carhuff on suspicion of DUI. But Carhuff wasn’t intoxicated: she had suffered a stroke on the way to a doctor’s appointment. Now, she’s suing the cops for excessive force. “We need a system first that looks to protecting people and worrying about their health before we get involved in some sort of confirmation bias,” said Carhuff’s attorney. 

Read more here.


On Tuesday, the ACLU of Vermont filed a lawsuit on behalf of John Chinnici, who was unlawfully detained by Bennington police over a 2016 robbery he didn’t commit. “Mr. Chinnici’s experience is a product of a notoriously toxic law enforcement culture in Bennington, and another shocking example of what happens when we leave it to the police to police themselves,” said ACLU attorney Hillary Rich. 

Read more here. 


After numerous delays, Baltimore’s citizen-led police accountability board is nearly up and running. And not a moment too soon, as over 300 complaints have been forwarded to the board, with more pouring in. According to the city’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights, “The allegations ranged from discourteous behavior to excessive force and criminal misconduct.”

Read more here. 


An unnamed cop who openly admitted to belonging to the far-right Oath Keepers group won’t be fired, nor will he face any disciplinary action for his extremist views. According to Chicago Police Department officials, that’s because “memberships into organizations in itself is not a rule violation.”

Read more here. 


On January 11, West Virginia Delegate Chris Pritt introduced House Bill 2102, which “intends to free courts to determine if an employee’s action violated the Constitution unencumbered by doctrines that impede fact-finding, like…‘qualified immunity.’”

Read more here. 


Insider: Biden Calls for Police Officers to Be Retrained: ‘Why Should You Always Shoot with Deadly Force?’

“President Joe Biden said that police in the US should be retrained to use deadly force less frequently in a speech about racial justice….‘We have to retrain cops as to why shouldn’t you [sic] always shoot with deadly force. The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don’t have to do that,’ Biden said.”

Read more here.

PBS Newshour: Why Calls for Reform Have Not Reduced the Number of People Killed by Police

“The saying is, you have to crawl before you walk. They’re not even at the stage of crawling right now when it comes to police reform. I believe that we will get to the running stage when more police officers are held accountable for their mistakes, their lethal mistakes.”

Read more here.

CNN: An Army Lieutenant Pepper-sprayed by Virginia Police During a Traffic Stop Was Awarded $3,600

“On Tuesday, [Caron] Nazario was awarded $2,685 in compensation for damages after a jury determined former Windsor police officer Joe Gutierrez assaulted the Army officer. The jury also determined that Officer Daniel Crocker must pay $1,000 in punitive damages for an illegal search of his vehicle, court documents show.”

Read more here. 

The Middletown Press: Officer Discipline Planned Over Tennessee Driver’s Death

“In a statement Monday on Twitter, civil rights attorney Ben Crump said he is representing [Tyre] Nichols’ family. Crump called for Memphis police to release body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop. ‘This kind of in-custody death destroys community trust if agencies are not swiftly transparent,’ Crump said.”

Read more here. 

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