AAJ Statement in Opposition to Senator Tim Scott’s Proposed Law Enforcement Reform Bill
Washington, DC — The following is a statement from American Association for Justice (AAJ) CEO Linda Lipsen announcing AAJ’s opposition to the JUSTICE Act introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC):
“AAJ commends Congress for addressing this issue with urgency, and we are encouraged to see leaders from across the ideological spectrum offer up plans to help end police violence and systemic racism against Black people and communities of color. But on issues critical to increasing accountability and transparency within law enforcement, this legislation fails to meet the type of reform this moment requires.
“The fact that the bill fails to include any mention of qualified immunity means that accountability and access to justice will remain unattainable for the majority of Americans hurt or killed by law enforcement. For decades, the judge-made rule of qualified immunity has immunized law enforcement officers from accountability when they brutalize people and violate their civil rights. Congress needs to end qualified immunity in order to ensure some measure of justice for those impacted by police violence.
“Other actions must be taken as well. Congress needs to hold employers of law enforcement officers accountable for the acts of their employees, improve federal data collection on law enforcement practices, and create a national police misconduct registry to ensure that dangerous law enforcement officials do not become a problem at another law enforcement agency. We stand ready to work with leaders in both parties to implement these critical reforms.”
The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org.