Country Conditions Researcher: Repealing Qualified Immunity a Critical Step Towards Police Accountability
This statement is in condemnation of the disturbing acts of brutality inflicted upon a defenseless teenager in custody by the hands of Michigan officers sworn to serve and protect. The recent incident has uncovered yet another tragic case of excessive force within the US law enforcement system, emphasizing the urgent need for systematic change. I express my deepest sympathy to the victim and his family, as no individual should ever suffer such brutality at the hands of those entrusted to uphold justice.
This incident highlights a deeply rooted problem and underscores the necessity of immediate action, which the Warren police department did take in this particular case. The Michigan officer was placed on administrative leave and charged with assault and battery. However, I cannot ignore that US judges often acquit police officers who engage in misconduct, as with a Chicago officer who kneeled on a teen’s back.
I also cannot remain silent or ignore the injustices faced by marginalized communities and individuals who are disproportionately affected by police brutality, such as LaDonna Paris, a 70-year-old Phillips Theological graduate student, who Tulsa police officers taunted and mistreated.
After reviewing the footage, I am called on to demand justice for those who are abused by police in the US.
(1) I also call upon the US government to address Paris’ case. I further demand transparency and impartial investigations into this incident, holding those responsible and accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
(2) I further insist on comprehensive and ongoing training for law enforcement officers, particularly in de-escalation techniques and cultural sensitivity, so as to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
(3) I urge society as a whole to actively engage in dialogue surrounding police brutality and rankism. Individuals with power feel emboldened to abuse marginalized persons because they often lack adequate support systems. By educating ourselves on oppression and advocating for the repeal of the qualified immunity doctrine, we can contribute to dismantling the structures that perpetuate violence and inequality.
We must turn our grief and anger into a force for concrete change. I stand with communities who demand justice and seek to work towards a future where no one experiences the horror and pain of brutality at the hands of those entrusted with their safety.