CTEQI Weekly Wrap-Up: 12/20–12/23

Welcome to the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity’s weekly wrap-up for 12/20–12/23! Here, we highlight the week’s legislative updates and notable news as we continue our state-focused fight to abolish the unjust rule. 

This week, a noted legal scholar calls on states to “rein in the police”; Vermont makes headlines for taking on qualified immunity; Illinois residents stand up for public safety; and more! 


The New York Times: To Rein In the Police, Look to the States, Not the Court

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley: “We need not wait for congressional polarization to dissipate or for a more liberal Supreme Court to begin the arduous and necessary process of reining in the police.  . . .There’s a lot that state and local governments can do now to improve policing in the United States.”

Read more here.


When it comes to ending qualified immunity in New England, the Green Mountain State leads the way: “Vermont lawmakers are looking to make their state the latest to tackle the controversial legal protections at the local level.”

Read more here.


Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty sues the corrupt Portland Police Association (PPA) for falsely identifying her as a hit-and-run suspect back in March. “Commissioner Hardesty’s advocacy for true police accountability and reform makes her Public Enemy No. 1 for many in the…PPA,” notes her attorney.

Read more here.

The Oregon Justice Resource Center’s Policing: Year in Review, part of their Bending Toward Justice series, brought together leading public safety advocates to reflect upon the state of policing, locally and nationally, in 2021.

Listen here.


Thanks to new public safety initiatives, the number of people killed by rogue cops in the Evergreen State was down 62 percent in 2021, reports the ACLU of Washington. “In 2022, advocates will continue to push the legislature to…continue passing measures that…hold officers who harm people accountable.” Measures such as ending qualified immunity. 

Read more here.

Also from the ACLU of Washington, an insightful blog series that tackles the crucial question, What Will It Take to Stop Police Violence?

Read more here.  


Residents of Aurora, Illinois, stand up for public safety by demanding that the local police department fire rogue cop David Brian, whom they describe as “a tyrant” who’s been “terrorizing Blacks and Latinos for the past 25 years.”

Read more here. 


“If our state Legislature felt anything as they watched a group of Minneapolis officers stand around approvingly as one of their own choked the life out of a man begging for mercy, it has eluded us.” In a searing op-ed, the Star-Ledger Editorial Board calls out New Jersey lawmakers for failing to enact policies to keep Garden State residents safe from rogue cops in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. 

Read more here.

Fatal police encounters are on the rise in New Jersey, and the lack of accountability is to blame. But a number of critical police reform bills are currently stalled in the NJ Legislature—including one to end qualified immunity. In response, civil rights advocates demand action. 

Read more here.


Disciplinary files obtained by Reveal expose how a panel headed by the D.C. police chief closed ranks to keep rogue cops on the force, despite an internal investigation into “criminal [officer] conduct [that]…included recklessly handling a firearm, harassment, property damage, stalking and theft.”

Read more here.


Axios: Police Lawsuit Bill May Renew Reform Talks 

“[Senator Sheldon] Whitehouse’s bill would provide uniform measures for victims to sue state and local governments and federal agencies for excessive force.”

Read more here.

USA Today: As a Young Black Man, I Was a Victim of Police Brutality. That’s Why I Became a Cop.

Timothy Alexander, retired detective and civil rights attorney: “Most law enforcement men and women are good and honorable public servants. And it’s for this reason that qualified immunity offends common sense. Why are police officers afforded an extra layer of protection from civil liability instead of being held accountable for their negligence or when they act recklessly?”

Read more here.

The Dallas Morning News: Federal Court Overturns Decision in Case of Tony Timpa, Who Died in Dallas Police Custody

“In a ‘stunning’ reversal, a federal judge overturned a lower court’s decision granting qualified immunity to the bad cops who killed [Tony] Timpa in 2016. Per The Dallas Morning News, ‘civil rights experts called the ruling unusual for…a conservative panel known for backing such protections.’”

Read more here.

Spread the word for accountability—submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. 
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