Chauvin Verdict Sparks Nationwide Calls to End QI

Nationwide calls to end qualified immunity (QI) intensify in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s conviction for George Floyd’s murder. Here’s what people around the country, from activists to lawmakers, are saying about police accountability and ending qualified immunity.


On the day Chauvin’s conviction was announced, protestors congregated outside the Honolulu Police Department. The protestors were calling for accountability following police shootings in Oahu. Speaking on both the Chauvin verdict and the Oahu incident, Jacquie Esser, a deputy public defender, told Hawaii News Now, “Changing the use of force policy is something but it’s not going to stop police killing so we need to end qualified immunity.”

Read the entire article here.


“We [call on Charlottesville] to enact as one of its legislative priorities in the next General Assembly session the abolition of qualified immunity so that all government officials who break the law can be held accountable for those actions.” These words are from a statement released by the Charlottesville Human Rights Commission, reports CBS 19. The Commission hopes the city government will commit to ”transformational change” of local law enforcement.

Read the entire article here.


“Police officers who may feel like they’re being indicted based off of the current time we’re living in, they must first ask themselves how they even got to that point and if they were doing what they we’re supposed to do when they signed up for a badge,” said Ramon Obey II. As The Columbus Dispatch states, Obey, the president of JUST (Justice, Unity & Social Transformation) is pressuring elected officials to eliminate QI after the police killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. 

Read the entire article here.


Martha E. Menendez, Bernstein Senior Fellow at the UNLV Immigration Clinic, critiques QI in her op-ed for the Nevada Independent. “Qualified immunity exists to encourage the cop to shoot first and think later, or as they like to say, to make a ‘split second life-or-death decision’ without getting too hung up on the possible consequences,” she writes. 

Read the entire op-ed here.


“This is not a bill…to defund the police. This is about good public policy.” As KVUE reports, supporters of HB 88, the George Floyd Act, denounce qualified immunity as an unlawful shield that protects bad cops from accountability. The bill is being heard at the Texas State Capitol.

Watch the entire newsclip here.


“I’m ready now to have the real conversation about qualified immunity, about how we can continue to protect people and about how we continue to raise our collective humanity, but also the humanity of Black and brown people in the U.S.,” said Steffen Gillom. The president of the Windham County NAACP talks to WCAX 3 about next steps following Derek Chauvin’s conviction.

Read the entire article here. 


Renewed interest in police reform has been sparked in Wisconsin. As WTMJ notes, “State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff…introduced Assembly Bill 186. The legislation calls for an end to ‘qualified immunity’ for police officers. Qualified immunity limits officers liability in civil cases.”

Read the entire article here.


As the Duluth News Tribune reports, the Duluth NAACP released a statement in response to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict. “Derek Chauvin is behind bars,” the statement reads,” but officers like him go to work every day armed with badges, guns, and the qualified immunity to act with impunity.”

Read the entire article here. 


As the sponsor of HB 1727, the Bad Apples in Law Enforcement Accountability Act, Rep. Curtis Tarver is on a mission to end QI in Illinois. “Tarver said that by eliminating the qualified immunity defense, municipalities will be more selective in whom they hire, will be less likely to succumb to union pressure when greater job protections are demanded and will be more likely to fire bad cops,” writes The Beverly Review. 

Read the entire article here.

South Carolina

Black leaders in South Carolina react to the Chauvin verdict by calling for more accountability—and an end to qualified immunity. “You can cheer one verdict, and it’s a good verdict,” activist Kevin Gray told The State. “But if you want systemic change, end qualified immunity and hold police accountable like you would any other person.”

Read the entire article here. 


Sharon Gary-Smith, President of Portland’s NAACP, tells The Bulletin that she hopes the Chauvin verdict “will lead to Portland-area leaders immediately and strongly scrutinizing qualified immunity for officers who commit acts that would be considered criminal by anyone else.”

Read the entire article here.


California’s Black Caucus is demanding more police accountability in 2021. As CapRadio reports, State Senator Steven Bradford, the caucus’ chairperson, is bringing back a bill that targets QI. “Senate Bill 2 would create a process to strip police badges from officers who commit certain crimes or misconduct and impose new limits on qualified immunity for law enforcement,” the article says. 

Read the entire article here. 


Activists in Wyoming react to Derek Chauvin’s conviction. Like others calling for police reform nationwide, the activists in Wyoming mirror the nationwide demand for greater accountability. Activist Mariah Bovee “cites issues with qualified immunity for officers,” reports KPVI. “It’s going to take a cultural shift. It’s going to be slow, but you have to keep at it,” Bovee said. “I’m seeing some small shifts. I’m very hopeful with our young people, because I think they are going to demand those changes.”

Read the entire article here. 


Advocacy groups in Missouri weigh in on the Chauvin verdict. One such group, CoMo for Progress told KRCG 13 that although they are pleased with the decision, the fight for racial equity is far from over. “We’re hopeful that the decision today is the beginning of change across our nation. One guilty verdict does not undo qualified immunity. One guilty verdict does not right all the wrongs to the black community.”

Read the entire article here.


In Savannah, activist Tory Russell shares his thoughts on the Chauvin verdict. Echoing the sentiment of many others across the country, Russell tells the Savannah Morning News that “One person doesn’t mean justice for the entire Black community.” In order to change the system, he “wants to see work at the policy level, which means ‘ending qualified immunity and federal funding consent decrees that do more than make recommendations.’”

Read the entire article here.


In Bucks County, local activists express their relief following the Chauvin verdict. They’re also speaking out for police reform. Per the Courier Times, Karen Downer, president of NAACP Bucks County, and other NAACP leaders “are calling for the collection of data on police encounters and the elimination of ‘qualified immunity that shields law enforcement from any responsibility for their actions.”

Read the entire article here.