WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Braun is standing by his bill to reform qualified immunity for police throughout the United States.
His bill, the “Reforming Qualified Immunity Act”, would roll back and rework the parameters by which a police officer has qualified immunity in the event someone is hurt or even killed while in an engagement with a police officer. It would also make it easier for people to sue police officers if they feel they’ve been wronged.
“Going back to what I learned last week, first of all, law enforcement in Indiana was talking about eliminating it (qualified immunity) or drastically modifying it,” Braun told Tucker Carlson on Fox News Monday evening. “This (bill) was to find that sweet spot.”
Braun said police officers who he said support the bill told him they are feeling “unduly stigmatized” because of recent events such as the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks and that they feel some of “their own aren’t being held accountable.”
He said in a letter penned to the U.S. Senate last week that he would never support an outright repeal of qualified immunity for police officers. Braun also said his bill has the support of “many law enforcement groups.”
Cory Martin, the executive director of the Indiana State Police Alliance, said any insinuation that his organization or any law enforcement agency supports his bill is not truthful.
“Quite frankly I’ve received dozens of phone calls, emails, and text messages since this aired last night in regards to officers adamantly opposed to this legislative language,” Martin said. “I have not been approached by anyone who said they have had a conversation with Senator Braun about the issues.”
“To reform qualified immunity would frankly be a stain on law enforcement, we believe, and really tarnish the industry,” he added. “We believe qualified immunity is more than fine as it stands right now.”
Martin said his organization is always open to talking about what police officers can do better. He said the right people need to be coming to the table to discuss it such as heads of police unions, police department leaders, state and local legislators, and even individual citizens and citizen-led organizations.
AUDIO of ISPA Executive Director Cory Martin responding to Sen. Braun’s interview on Fox News:
VIDEO on Sen. Mike Braun on Fox News with Tucker Carlson: