Give a Voice to the Victims of Police Brutality

Target: Adrienne A. Jones, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates

Goal: Give a voice to the voiceless by eliminating the “immunity defense” for police officers accused of brutality.

Far too often, policemen and women have walked away from accusations of brutality, harassment, and racism by enacting the “immunity defense” or “qualified immunity.” This legal loophole prevents officers from being held personally liable for an action that does not violate a “clearly established” law. This technicality and specific language have allowed dozens of officers to walk free in the wake of serious accusations of wrongdoing.

This may soon come to an end, however, in Maryland. The Maryland state government is proposing legislation that would eliminate the “immunity defense” and make it easier for victims of police brutality to file civil suits against their abusers. If officers are found liable in these civil suits, they can be decertified and lose their pensions.

This new legislation would “reduce reckless and harmful actions by an officer, because they will know that they have to face the consequences directly, and that jurisdictions also understand they need to weed out officers because of this direct liability,” says Delegate Jheanelle K. Wilkins, who introduced the bill. Sign the petition to join Wilkins in this fight and demand a voice be given to the voiceless victims of police brutality.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Jones,

The removal of qualified immunity, or the “immunity defense,” is just one of over 100 police reform measures being considered by the state since the murder of George Floyd. This small act will lead to big changes in terms of civil rights. It will hold police accused of horrendous misconduct personally responsible for their actions and will give victims of police brutality the chance to have their cases heard, if not in criminal court, then in civil court.

The immunity defense has allowed “bad apples” to get away with discrimination and violence for far too long, giving a bad name to the men and women who dutifully serve on Maryland’s local police forces. I ask that you support this legislation to remove the immunity defense.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue




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