To Remember George Floyd, Demand an End to Qualified Immunity

Today marks exactly one year since four Minnesota police officers—Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao—murdered George Floyd. After apprehending Floyd for the suspicion of using counterfeit money, Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd’s last cries for his mother and “I can’t breathe” served as a lighting rod for a summer of protests across the country. But for Black and Brown communities, who experience racist police violence every day, it was just another tragedy in a long line of injustice their community has witnessed at the hands of racist police.  As we mark the anniversary of another senseless death, we must come together to abolish qualified immunity and demand police accountability.

“When the government shields police officers from liability to those they harm, we should all be afraid and outraged,” Ashleigh Crocker, Communications Director at Progress Virginia, said. “We must remember George Floyd and the countless others whose lives were cut short by police violence by holding police accountable and banning qualified immunity. We can’t live in an equitable society if police officers can use excessive force on Black and Brown people without consequences.”