End Qualified Immunity

Qualified immunity blocks people whose rights have been violated from successfully suing the violating officer unless another officer has already been held liable in an almost identical situation. This creates a dangerous cycle of officers escaping accountability, retaining their jobs, and causing more harm.1,2 It also prevents victims of state violence from being compensated for their injuries. 

As the D.C. Police Reform Commission explained, prohibiting the defense of qualified immunity, creating a private right of action, and allowing the District to terminate any officer found to have violated an individual’s rights both gives a remedy to people who have been harmed and provides a mechanism to get a dangerous officer off our streets. Because Black people disproportionately experience harm at the hands of MPD, passing this legislation is a racial justice issue.