Here’s our latest Letters to the Editor (LTE) roundup. In periodicals from Hawaii’s West Hawaii Today to California’s Taunton Daily Gazette, and The Mercury News to Massachusetts’ Telegram & Gazette, readers nationwide weigh in on qualified immunity (QI).
In Texas, the Austin American Statesman features two LTEs against QI. One of these is a piece by Miste Hower. She represents the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety. In her LTE, Miste voices her support for HB 88. The bill is also known as the George Floyd Act. It aims to end QI in Texas. The other Statesman LTE refutes police claims that ending QI would drive police officers to leave the force. If QI is all that’s leaving the bad cops on the force, “then please allow them to go,” the LTE’s writer notes. “Bring on more well-trained officers who…work to keep us all safe.”
Some southern states are also taking a stand against QI. These voices speak up in two LTEs. One published in North Carolina’s Roanoke-Chowan News. The other appears in Virginia’s The Free Lance Star. “Americans have a moral obligation to pressure members of Congress” to end qualified immunity, says the writer in North Carolina. He supports the federal George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. (As does the White House.)
Strong voices in the Midwest speak out against QI. Two of the strongest appear in Iowa’s Quad City Times and Wisconsin’s Wisconsin State Journal. The latter offers an LTE that supports a new state bill to abolish QI (LRB-1942). Ending qualified immunity, the writer says, “would put Wisconsin on a path to greater equity and justice.”
On the East Coast, qualified immunity dominates the headlines. A recent LTE in The New York Times mentions bad policing’s financial burden. This burden, the writer argues, is another reason to end QI. “Bad cops are expensive,” the LTE notes. “Minneapolis has paid out at least $71 million over the past 15 years to settle claims of officer misconduct.” Other LTEs speaking out against QI in the East Coast include pieces in the Philadelphia Weekly (Pennsylvania), auburnpub.com (upstate New York), and the Bangor Daily News (Maine).
Thanks for reading our latest LTE Roundup. You, too, can make your voice heard with an LTE. Submit an LTE to the newspaper of your choice here.