Police reform deal hinges on 'qualified immunity'

Police reform deal hinges on 'qualified immunity'

Democrats and Republicans said the April 20 verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder sparked momentum to finalize an agreement on police reform legislation.

“Now would be a good time to do it,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday.

A deal may hinge on whether the two parties can agree on changes to “qualified immunity,” which shields law enforcement officers from liability, even in cases in which they break the law or are charged with misconduct.

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House Democrats have twice passed police reform legislation that would end qualified immunity to increase officer liability, in addition to other significant changes in the nation’s policing policies.

They say qualified immunity makes it difficult to hold police fully accountable for excessive force and other misconduct.

On Tuesday, Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd, a black man whom Chauvin arrested over a phony $20 bill. Chauvin was caught

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