On May 17, the Players Coalition signed a letter to New York legislators urging passage of
S 1991, the bill to end qualified immunity (QI). Signers include Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia Eagles), Demario Davis (New Orleans Saints), and Chris Long (New England Patriots).
“We are tired of conversations around police accountability that go nowhere, and we have engaged in too many ‘listening sessions’ where we discuss whether there is a problem of police violence in this country,” the Players Coalition states. “There is a problem. The world witnessed it when Officer Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and after the government failed to pass any accountability on the federal level, it’s time for New York to step up to the plate and protect its communities.”
The Players Coalition is affiliated with the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity and represents over 1,400 professional athletes fighting for social justice and racial equity. In June 2020, the coalition sent a similar letter to Congress, calling on Washington lawmakers to eliminate QI. They’re now using their platform to support state-based efforts to repeal the court-created rule.
“Ending qualified immunity means a safer New York for everyone,” the letter continues. “Ending qualified immunity means repairing trust between public officials and the public. You cannot have trust without accountability and there is no accountability with qualified immunity.”
An outright majority of New Yorkers agree: A recent poll showed that 58 percent of state residents favor ending QI.
“We hope this letter and the bill it represents will send a signal to Albany that we need a better justice system in New York,” said Demario Davis. “The Players Coalition has been out front on civil rights issues for years now, and we will continue to participate in the movement for better public safety and criminal justice reform, in New York and nationwide.”
Read the letter here.