CTEQI Weekly Wrap-Up: 5/2–5/6

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, New Jersey’s Supreme Court limits qualified immunity; public safety champions hold Mother’s Day of Action in New York’s capital; the City of Dallas attempts to block justice; and more! 


NJ.com: Thanks to N.J. Courts, It’s Harder for Police to Claim Qualified Immunity. But More Is Needed.

“In a welcome win for police accountability, the New Jersey Supreme Court this spring set an important limit on qualified immunity. This controversial legal doctrine shields all government employees from liability, unless they violated an individual’s ‘clearly established’ constitutional rights.”

Read more here. 


“Qualified immunity…continues to tear families apart and deny justice to the victims. We all need to come together and fix this broken system.” A coalition of impacted mothers, lawmakers, and public safety advocates held a Mother’s Day of Action at the New York State Capitol on Wednesday, May 4. The event honored New York families who’ve lost loved ones to government violence and called on legislators to pass S 1991, the bill to end qualified immunity in the state.

Read more here. 

In 2017, rogue cop Lauren McDermott struck James Kistner with her car and threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct. Making matters worse for the victim, the Buffalo, NY, police later alleged that Kistner threw himself at the vehicle. Finding the police’s attempted cover up “extremely disturbing,” a judge has allowed Kistner’s case to move forward. 

Read more here. 

New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the watchdog agency tasked with overseeing the NYPD, aims to keep New Yorkers safe by investigating claims of police misconduct. Yet following the 2020 racial-justice demonstrations, “the CCRB has struggled to fully investigate the flood of protest complaints” due to “obstructions from the police department.”

Read more here. 

Dara Weiss, one of the NYPD’s lead lawyers, was fired last week for lying to a federal judge and forging documents. This wasn’t an isolated incident: Previously, Weiss had been “sanctioned and fined by a court for withholding documents in a lawsuit brought against the City by a man beaten while detained on Rikers Island.”

Read more here. 


“It’s a continuation of what we’ve seen with many of the bills focused on law enforcement accountability this year.” A Vermont bill to create a rogue-cop database has met a similarly frustrating fate as S.254, the bill to end qualified immunity: whittled down to a study committee on the issue. 

Read more here.

Celebrating Michele Dinko’s unwavering dedication to police accountability, the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services has honored her with their survivor/activist award. Dinko’s 35-year legal battle against the rogue ex-cop who assaulted her when she was 12 has finally led to justice. “We now owe it to Michele and all victims to learn from the extreme injustices that occurred in her case and do better to improve victims’ participation in the process,” said Bennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Linda Purdy at the ceremony. 

Read more here.


Requesting more public input, Baltimore County officials have delayed the vote to move their resident-led Police Accountability Board forward. “We don’t want this to be a smoke screen,” said Lorena Diaz, regional community organizer with the ACLU of Maryland. “We want this to be a board that has teeth, to have some real power.” 

Read more here. 


WFAA/ABC 8: City of Dallas Argues Qualified Immunity in Case Against Officers Involved in Tony Timpa’s Death

“The City of Dallas is arguing against an appeals court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying qualified immunity defies a court decision allowing for Dallas police to be sued…[this] comes after a ruling in December by the Fifth Circuit U.S. appeals court [that] determined four Dallas police officers could be sued following the death of Tony Timpa, who died while in police custody in August 2016.”

Read more here.

Vera Institute of Justice: Police Data Transparency Index

Just how transparent is your city? “Community demands for police accountability require information about what police do,” notes The Vera Institute of Justice. Their new Police Data Transparency Index reveals how locations nationwide handle their data regarding police misconduct.  

Learn more here.

Spread the word for accountability—submit a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. 
Stay atop of new state QI updates by signing up for our email list here.