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Black women call for police accountability, end to qualified immunity

Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell

WASHINGTON — This week, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) reintroduced the “Ending Qualified Immunity Act” to eliminate the legal loophole that prevents victims of police violence and civil rights violations from obtaining relief through civil lawsuits. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement in support of the legislation:

“Police violence against Black families continues to plague our communities. Federal, state and local officials time and again fail to protect our civil rights and our very lives. When victims of police violence seek justice through civil litigation, they are thwarted by the ‘qualified immunity’ doctrine, a legal loophole invented by the courts to shield police from accountability.

“We applaud Rep. Pressley and Sen. Markey for reintroducing the ‘Ending Qualified Immunity Act.’ We encourage Congress to follow their lead and pass the bill, which will allow victims of civil rights violations at the hands of the police to seek justice. In honor of Shukri Ali, Rekia Boyd, Miriam Carey, Deborah Danner, Maya Hall, Charleena Lyles, Aiyanna Stanley-Jones, Breonna Taylor and all the Black women, men and children killed by police violence, we demand immediate action by Congress.

“Black women are leading the movement to dismantle systemic racism and to stop police violence. Congress must heed our call for justice and the right to live our lives in peace. The same elected officials who courted our votes must now vote to protect our rights and lives by passing the ‘Ending Qualified Immunity Act.’”


In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national Reproductive Justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.

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