Clyburn Would Support Police Reform That Doesn’t End Qualified Immunity

“I will never sacrifice good on the altar of perfect. I just won’t do that,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said on Sunday (May 9) on CNN’s State of the Union, referring to police reform legislation making its way through Congress. 

Clyburn said he’d be willing to support a police reform bill that did not put an end to qualified immunity, the legal protection individual police officers have from facing lawsuits. That legal protection has been a target for advocates who say qualified immunity for police officers should come to an end. 

“I know what the perfect will be. We have proposed that,” Clyburn said. “I want to see good legislation. And I know that, sometimes, you have to compromise… If we don’t get qualified immunity then we will come back and try to get it later. But I don’t want to see us throw out a good bill because we can’t get a perfect bill,” he said, The Washington Post reported

The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act back in March, that would end police use of chokeholds, create a national database of police misconduct, and strengthen civil rights laws at the federal level. The Act didn’t make it to the Senate. 

As the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death approaches, President Joe Biden has asked Congress to act on the legislation for police reform. 

Members from both parties met recently to reach a deal on the bill. The Post reported that qualified immunity and federal civil rights laws were the main points being debated that kept the legislation from the Senate. 

“I think we are still making progress,” Republican Sen. Tim Scott told The Post. “Nothing happened in the meeting that deters me from being optimistic that we can get there.” 

Photo: Getty Images

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