House Committee revives bill eliminating qualified immunity for officers in Virginia

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- The Virginia House Appropriations Committee has revived a bill to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers in Virginia after the same group of lawmakers voted to kill the legislation earlier this week.

On Monday, Dels. David Bulova and David Reid–both Democrats–sided with Republicans opposing the bill only to change their votes in Tuesday’s meeting when the legislation was reconsidered.

Some lawmakers say qualified immunity presents a huge legal hurdle for people trying to sue police for violating their constitutional rights. Others argue eliminating the protection would make it difficult to recruit and retain officers who want to avoid ‘frivolous lawsuits.’

Virginia lawmakers want to end immunity for officers, former chief says slow down

Even if it passes the full House, the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Some Democrats on Senate Judiciary Committee felt the idea was too complicated to take up during a special session. They referred it to a commission for further study ahead of the regular session in 2021.

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