CTEQI Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/2–1/6

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, the Nevada Supreme Court affirms the right to sue government officials; Washington State lawmakers introduce bill to end qualified immunity; Kansas police rescind drug charges against a terminal cancer patient; and more! 


Institute for Justice: Nevada Supreme Court Affirms that Government Officials Can Be Sued for Violations of Rights in the State Constitution

“The wheels of justice for Stephen Lara can finally move forward after being on hold for more than a year….Nationally speaking, this decision not only strikes a blow against civil forfeiture—the procedure that allows the government to take property without charging anyone with a crime—it also rejects the judge-made disaster that is qualified immunity.”

Read more here.


Senior litigator Karl Ashanti spent more than a decade defending cops from civil rights lawsuits. “I didn’t feel any kind of way about representing police officers and correctional officers because I always knew…it was all about the work and the cases,” he said. Then one morning, Ashanti was pulled over by the NYPD and falsely cited for having lapsed insurance. 

Read more here. 


As Washington’s legislature prepares to convene on January 9, state lawmakers are set to introduce House Bill 1025, which aims to end qualified immunity. “We really need this bill,” said Leslie Cushman of the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, noting that “families and victims of police violence…should be able to go to court to determine who’s responsible for the harm.”

Watch here. 

Law enforcement agencies have increasingly relied on automated decision systems, such as facial recognition technology, that have proven problematic. Per the ACLU of Washington, “These systems…often function as surveillance tools, expanding police surveillance powers and chilling people’s civil rights and civil liberties.”

Read more here.


Police accountability advocates are pushing back at the Fraternal Order of Police’s recent efforts to prevent the release of officers’ disciplinary files. These attempts are in violation of Anton’s Law, which Maryland lawmakers passed in 2021 “to ensure public access to complaints of police misconduct.”

Read more here.


A state probe has found that, for years, Illinois corrections officials have mismanaged the hiring of investigators tasked with addressing staff misconduct. “If they’re not selecting people based on criteria that focuses on their integrity, qualifications and ability to be objective but instead relying on a system of patronage, that doesn’t bode well for fair and full investigations,warned a prison watchdog group.

Read more here.  


The Guardian: Police Rescind Drug Charge Against Terminally Ill Kansas Cancer Patient

“‘It is traumatic enough to be dying of cancer—it is absolutely unconscionable to add on, for no reason beyond fealty to a losing drug war, the added trauma of being arrested,’ Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a cannabis specialist, said.”

Read more here.

Los Angeles Times: 9th Circuit Rejects ‘Qualified Immunity’ As Reason to Toss LAPD Gym Shooting Case

“‘We are overwhelmingly pleased with the 9th Circuit’s decision to pull back on the scope of qualified immunity,’ said Brian Dunn, an attorney for [Albert] Dorsey’s mother, Paulette Smith, who brought the family’s lawsuit.”

Read more here. 

Akron Beacon Journal: What We Still Don’t Know 6 Months After Akron Police Killed Jayland Walker

“‘We’re just waiting and wondering, Why is it taking so long? [Walker family pastor Robert DeJournett] said. ‘And when will this investigation be over so we can see how the community—or the prosecutor, the police—how they’re going to move forward?’”

Read more here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: City Settles Three Civil Rights Suits Against Former Police Inspector Joseph Bologna for $267,500

“‘It was a completely inappropriate, violent reaction,’ [attorney] Alan Yatvin said of Bologna’s response. ‘It makes you wonder what they were thinking out there. It was a police brutality protest, and you respond to it with the sort of thing that’s being protested?’”

Read more here. 

Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville Police Under Shields: How the Department Is Different and What Is Still the Same

“Though [Erika] Shields did implement reforms, she has largely failed to rebuild community trust, a Courier Journal review found. And critics say the reforms that were done, happened behind closed doors with little visibility to the public.”

Read more here.

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