CTEQI Weekly Wrap-Up: 8/1–8/5

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, Ben Crump calls out the rogue cops responsible for Brianna Grier’s death; the Kansas Supreme Court upholds police accountability; Slate explores how qualified immunity denies justice to victims with mental health struggles; and more! 


CBS News: Brianna Grier’s Family Demands Answers as New Video Raises Questions in Death of Georgia Mother Who Fell Out of Patrol Car

“Grier somehow fell out the rear passenger door of the police car, and landed face-down by the side of the road, breathing but unconscious. Grier’s family says the Hancock County sheriff later told them she fell out after kicking open the door….‘Just reckless conduct on behalf of these officers. Deliberate indifference at the hands of somebody who was having a mental health crisis,’ [Ben] Crump said.”

Watch here.


To build trust in law enforcement, our communities need good cops who respect everyone’s constitutional rights. Yet at the same time, “asking police to be the simple catchall solution to so many complicated problems” can actually deter public safety, argues the ACLU of New York.  

Read more here. 


Disgraced former Baltimore detective Robert Hankard has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. The rogue cop was convicted last month of numerous violations, including planting a BB gun on a suspect and falsifying a police report. “Our office will continue to actively prosecute individuals who violate [their] positions of trust,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barro, responding to the verdict. 

Read more here.


Alexis Wilson was picking up dinner at a local steakhouse in Homewood, Illinois, last July when a minor incident over her order turned into a violent police confrontation that left the 19-year-old dead. Seeking justice, her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit: “they want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again,” said Gregory Kulis, the Wilson family’s attorney.

Read more here.

Hadi Abuatelah’s family is calling for accountability after the 17-year-old suffered serious injuries resulting from a police altercation following a traffic stop. “The issue here is excessive force and police brutality,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “Something we are seeing again and again and again.”

Read more here.


HPPR: The Kansas Supreme Court Rules That Police Can Be Liable When Their Actions Injure a Bystander

“[Former Wichita police officer Dexter] Betts was charged with reckless aggravated battery in 2018, but prosecution was blocked because a court ruled he qualified for statutory immunity….The Kansas Supreme Court disagreed, and in an opinion by Justice Dan Biles sent the case back to a trial court.”

Read more here.

Slate: How Qualified Immunity Fails People at Risk of Suicide

“Qualified immunity…presents particular barriers to justice for people with mental illness—and indeed, blocks crucial reforms needed to improve the way the criminal justice system responds to mental health crises.”

Read more here.

NBC Philadelphia: Town Won’t Release Full Report of Police Shooting That Left Little Girl Dead

“The lawyer for [Fanta Bility’s] family, Bruce Castor Jr., said in a statement…that ‘the undated and redacted report made public today by Sharon Hill Borough is an insult to the memory of Fanta and completely unacceptable in any society that values the truth and the Rule of Law. The heavily edited report raises more questions in the minds of the family and the public than it answers.’”

Read more here.

Daily Beast: ​​The ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Case That Slipped Under the Radar

“Four years before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the death of Daniel Landeros did not draw national attention…But the trial is set to conclude this week in a climate of heightened awareness about police use of force, after the Floyd case introduced millions to the horrors of ‘positional asphyxia’—suffocating in a prone position—and how restraint by cops can cause it.”

Read more here.

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