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For Immediate Release

Contact

Brittany Miller, brittany@peoplepowerinitiatives.org, 914-216-3682

Press Release

Killer Mike, Shaun King, Aloe Blacc Join Co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s to Launch the Campaign To End Qualified Immunity

In partnership with business leaders, creative artists, athletes, advocates and lawyers, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield announce 100 days of action to end qualified immunity in the first 100 days.
WASHINGTON -

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s co-founders) along with a broad coalition of partners introduced a campaign that will kick off 100 days of action to push the new administration and Congress to end qualified immunity immediately.  The campaign aims to lift up stories of victims and families who have been harmed by police brutality but have not received justice due to qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that shields officers from accountability. Watch the full press conference here.  Learn more at www.CampaignToEndQualifiedImmunity.org

“For too long, too many white people have sat on their hands while Black people are beaten and killed by bad cops. Let me be clear: there are lots of good cops out there who act with professionalism, who go beyond the call of duty to protect and serve. But the culture of many police departments is a culture of ‘look the other way’ and a blue wall of silence that has allowed bad cops to remain on the force and even get promoted.” -- Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s

“After the tragic murder of George Floyd, business leaders spoke out as never before about racial injustice and the critical need for police reform. Business leaders know that first and foremost, accountability is the key to achieving desired results. It is even more essential for law enforcement when we authorize them to use lethal force in our name. Without accountability for police, there will be no building of trust and promoting of healing within the communities they serve.” -- Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s

“It’s time that we take back the power that the courts empowered the state with in allowing their agents this immunity. It’s time to get back to the raw, straight facts of the constitution. We have rights and privileges that are promised to us under this republic and anything that interrupts that or allows an agent of the state to interrupt that should be gotten rid of. We should end qualified immunity right now. If we don’t, the next generation and the generation after that will suffer.” -- Michael “Killer Mike” Render, musician

“This approach to reforming our justice system and our penal system is multidimensional, but I believe qualified immunity is a huge factor in the culture around the god complex that police have and the complete disregard they have for any accountability for their actions.” -- Aloe Blacc, musician

“The end of qualified immunity would remove current barriers and give individuals and families affected by police violence against the Black community an equitable avenue to seek redress for violations of civil and constitutional rights. Historically, financial settlements are usually the only means that a family or an individual has to find some justice as the number of police officers that are charged, indicted, tried and convicted for misconduct is woefully low in comparison to the clearly unjustified taking of Black lives by police that we have seen over the last several decades. After 28 years in policing, I can attest to the damage that this doctrine does to the public and to public trust.” -- Sonia Pruitt, Captain, Montgomery County Police Dept., Ret.

“One point worth emphasizing is how much of a disservice this doctrine does to the law enforcement profession itself. By holding police officers to a far lower standard of accountability than ordinary citizens, this doctrine exacerbates what is already a crisis of confidence in our nation’s law enforcement. Policing is dangerous, difficult work and it’s made much harder when police don’t have the trust or respect of the citizens they police. Qualified immunity, far from protecting police officers, is actually making their jobs more difficult.” -- Jay Schweikert, Cato Institute

“When we talk about qualified immunity, in a lot of ways it is the system’s way of protecting a very narrow group of people from ever being held accountable and making sure that those who are wrong truly never get the justice they deserve. If you want to believe that there are good apples and bad apples in American policing, qualified immunity prevents us from even holding those few bad apples accountable.” -- Shaun King, activist and co-founder of Real Justice PAC

“Eliminating qualified immunity is so important for any meaningful criminal justice reform and for how we provide public safety in today's world. The threats of lawsuits and holding police officers truly accountable for their actions will pressure agencies and the people who lead them to properly train their officers. Eliminating qualified immunity will force agencies to be more transparent by making them subject to depositions which will not happen if the civil cases are not allowed to go forward.” -- David Myers, Commander, San Diego Sheriff’s Dept., Ret.

“The inequalities and inequities in policing is a national crisis which requires a federal strategy and a national solution. I know that the solutions are complex, but at the heart of the solution is the elimination of qualified immunity.” -- Julia Yoo, President of National Police Accountability Project (NPAP)

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