Ending qualified immunity (QI) in Minnesota (MN) is becoming closer to reality. As the Derek Chauvin trial gets underway, a MN House Committee passed a bill aimed at ending qualified immunity for bad cops.
Introduced by MN Rep. John Thompson, the bill, HF 114, was heard and passed on March 25. This measure targets the controversial doctrine that shields rogue officers like Chauvin from liability.
Calls for police accountability, in Minnesota and nationwide, have grown steadily since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Chauvin.
In Minneapolis, where the Chauvin trial is taking place, demonstrators have gathered inside and outside the courtroom. As CBS Minnesota reports, the protestors are demanding greater accountability.
“For far too long, we have ignored police brutality,” said Jaylani Hussein, one of the demonstrators. Huessein is the executive director of CAIR Minnesota. (CAIR, which stands for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is the country’s largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group.)
As CBS Minnesota notes, “Protest organizers called for Chauvin’s conviction and a maximum sentence. They also had a bigger picture in mind.”
Hussein elaborates: “In the state of Minnesota right now, we have eight bills that could potentially be a starting bill that allows families and community members to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
One of these eight is HF 114, the bill that would prohibit the qualified immunity defense.