An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Vote Yes in Support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021

397 so far! Let’s get to 500 signers!

I am writing to you today as a concerned constituent of your district to urge you to vote yes in support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, introduced by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021. This bill will enact critical accountability measures for law enforcement that civil rights advocates and activists have long demanded to address widespread police misconduct. Across the nation, law enforcement has continued to escape accountability from criminal prosecution, when they commit constitutional violations against the public, and again when victims of police misconduct attempt to seek justice in Section 1983 actions. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1871 during Reconstruction to empower newly freed Black Americans with a cause of action against official misconduct. The Supreme Court then gutted the Civil Rights Act, by inventing the doctrine of qualified immunity in 1967, and imposing an almost insurmountable burden on Section 1983 plaintiffs whose civil rights have been violated, unless they can prove the right at issue in their case was “clearly established” at the time. Qualified Immunity shields police from accountability in civil actions, obstructs the pursuit of justice, incentivizes a police culture of lawlessness, and undermines the constitutional rights of every person in the country, but particularly marginalized communities of color that are already overpoliced and underprivileged. Last year, George Floyd’s death shocked the nation, sparking protests against police brutality and systemic racism and triggering widespread calls for policing reforms, including the end to qualified immunity. About 1,000 people are killed each year by U.S. law enforcement officials, and Black Americans are more than three times more likely, than their white counterparts, to be one of these victims. Please honor the memory of George Floyd and all victims of police violence by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, in order to restore our civil rights and ensure that no one is above the law. Sincerely,

First sent on February 25 by The Ending Qualified Immunity Project

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