As the nation awaits the verdict of Derek Chauvin’s trial, Van Jones speaks out. Jones calls on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and end qualified immunity (QI).
In a recent op-ed for CNN, the prominent attorney and political commentator reflects upon Chauvin’s trial. His piece examines what this trail represents, in light of America’s troubled history of police brutality.
“This whole situation brings me back to 1992,” Jones writes, referencing the Rodney King attack. “We had protests in the streets then — just like we do today. We had plenty of chatter on television then — just like we do today.”
“And unfortunately,” Jones concludes, “we had too little action in the halls of Congress then — just like we do today.”
That’s why now, 30 years later, Jones notes, the government has a chance to fix the system. Congress can enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The act, which passed in the US House of Representatives in March, currently awaits the Senate’s review. In his op-ed, Jones urges readers to pressure their senators to endorse the bill. As Jones mentions, this legislation addresses “some of the issues that have shocked and sickened the world.”
One of these issues is qualified immunity.
“Ending qualified immunity would mean that, if a police officer breaks the law, that officer would be held accountable.” Jones says. “Chauvin likely felt free to act with impunity because he thought he had qualified immunity.”
Read Van Jones’s op-ed on ending QI here.