On June 28, Sonia Pruitt published an op-ed for CNN. In her piece, the former police captain shares her thoughts on qualified immunity (QI). Captain Pruitt says that QI must go. Furthermore, she states that the provision to end QI needs to remain in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA). Otherwise, achieving real justice becomes impossible.
Sonia Pruitt is a vocal advocate for police reform. She’s a great example of a good cop speaking out for accountability. Captain Pruitt has excellent law enforcement credentials. First, she’s a retired Montgomery County, Maryland, police captain. Second, Captain Pruitt is the founder of the Black Police Experience. Third, she’s on the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. On top of all that, Sonia Pruitt is also a coalition partner of the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity.
“Congress is now in recess,” Captain Pruitt notes in her CNN op-ed. “And only has a ‘framework’ for a police reform bill from the Senate.” Sonia Pruitt continues: “Since early March, there have been negotiations but no decisive action” on the JPA.
Captain Pruitt, like many other police reform advocates, finds this lack of action frustrating. “I wonder how George Floyd would feel,” she writes, “knowing that there is just a framework for the JPA, more than a year after his death?”
Movement is slow on the JPA. That’s due to QI. Conservatives feel that ending qualified immunity is unfair to the police. Progressives know otherwise. They believe the doctrine is what’s unfair. Not only unfair, but unconstitutional. Currently, negotiations are underway between Republicans and Democrats. They seek a compromise.
However, Sonia Pruitt doesn’t want the compromise to neglect accountability. She knows we can’t have accountability as long as QI exists. Captain Pruitt writes: “I hope [lawmakers] understand that the most significant goals [in the JPA] should concern strong restrictions on use of force, police misconduct and the complete elimination of qualified immunity.”
Read Sonia Pruitt’s op-ed on QI here.