New Jersey introduces a bill that targets qualified immunity (QI). New Jersey joins a growing number of states setting their sights on eliminating the doctrine. As PIX 11 reports, On May 11, Senator Nia Gill introduced S-3730. This bill seeks to end QI for bad cops in the Garden State.
If passed, PIX 11 notes, New Jersey “would follow New York City in ending the practice that often protects police officers from prosecution.” On March 25, the New York City Council passed legislation that hinders bad cops from claiming QI.
Neither Senator Nina Gill nor Governor Phil Murphy responded to PIX 11’s request for comments. However, opponents of the bill voiced their concerns. For example, Senator Jim Holzapfel claims ending QI is an attempt “to prohibit police from doing their jobs.” Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciatarelli warned that abolishing the doctrine will create “a legal free-for-all.”
Despite these claims, there’s no denying that calls for police accountability continue to increase. As mentioned earlier, more and more states have introduced measures to take down qualified immunity. That’s because lawmakers across the country are aware that police brutality is a public safety crisis. They know that enacting police reform is critical. And critical to police reform is ending qualified immunity.
Bills like S-3730 champion accountability. More accountability will bolster the public’s trust in law enforcement. Since S-3730 addresses police misconduct, good cops who obey the rules have nothing to worry about. If anything, ending qualified immunity will make their jobs easier. And it would allow the victims of police violence to seek justice in civil court.
Read the entire PIX 11 article on S-3730 here.