Enough is Enough: Tell Lawmakers to Hold Police in Virginia Accountable

Act Now

Daunte Wright was killed by police after he was pulled over for having expired license plates. Marcus-David Peters was shot dead while he was having a mental health crisis. Army Lt. Caron Nazario was pepper-sprayed and brutalized after being racially profiled. Reprehensible acts of police violence won't stop unless we take action to hold police accountable.

Police officers who use excessive force to hurt and kill Black and Brown people in violation of the federal constitution are seldom held accountable for their actions. Many use a federal legal defense called "qualified immunity" that acts as a shield against lawsuits brought by the people and families they harm. It is time for Virginians to demand the same accountability from law enforcement officers that has long been demanded from others who commit crimes and perpetrate violence.

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The tragic murders of Marcus-David Peters, Donovon Lynch, Xzavier Hill, Kionte Spencer and many Black and Brown Virginians, as well as the continued protests across the country, show there is an urgent need to transform policing. It’s time to dismantle racism in policing by holding law enforcement officers, and the departments that employ them, accountable for the harm caused by their unconstitutional conduct.

The General Assembly needs to pass a law allowing people to sue police in Virginia courts, by Virginia juries, with Virginia judges. The law must make clear that “qualified immunity” is not a defense to state lawsuits, so police no longer have this legal shield to hide behind. People and families that have suffered real harm deserve their day in court.

Law enforcement offers need to be held accountable for harming the Black and Brown communities they’re supposed to serve. People who are harmed by the unconstitutional actions of law enforcement officers should be permitted to bring a lawsuit and be compensated by the officers and their departments for the harm they suffered.

Use your power now to create a system of accountability for police and allow Virginians who have suffered real harm their fair day in court. The lives and futures of Black and Brown Virginians depend on it.


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