Ending Qualified Immunity in New York City Is a “No-Brainer,” Says Council Speaker Corey Johnson

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson voiced his support of a package the Council introduced that contains 11 bills—including one to end qualified immunity—that aims to “change the footprint of policing in New York City,” per a recently published piece on NY1. 

Last June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing police departments in New York to adopt a reform plan by April 1, 2021. The order and the resulting package are in response to calls for comprehensive police reform, which have grown steadily since the death of George Floyd in May 2020. 

In addition to ending qualified immunity, the package includes investigating police officers with a history of bias and creating a non-police emergency response for mental health emergencies.

Critics argue that eliminating qualified immunity would, among other things, lead to a decline in officer recruitment or make officers less aggressive in fighting crime.

Johnson disagrees. “We think this would get officers to actually behave more appropriately, and you need this level of accountability,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer for what it should look like.”

Read the entire piece here.