Upcoming House Bill Seeks to End Qualified Immunity for Ohio Police

Sedrick Denson and Thomas West
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Two Ohio state representatives announced on Friday that they are set to introduce legislation aimed at limiting qualified immunity for police officers in Ohio.

Ohio state Reps. Thomas West (D-49-Canton) and Sedrick Denson (D-33-Cincinnati) said on Friday that they will soon introduce legislation that will limit legal doctrine that means government officials, such as law enforcement, cannot be liable for wrongdoing that occurs while performing their job

“It’s time to get serious about ensuring more accountability for our officers,” West (pictured above, right) said in a statement on Friday. “While we respect the difficult nature of their work, the difficulty of the job is not justification for an absolute shield from any liability when an officer uses excessive or even deadly force against people. Those individuals and their families should have a real opportunity to hold that officer accountable, without the blanket protections of qualified immunity.”

The bill, part of a larger police reform package introduced on Monday, would remove qualified immunity as a defense for police officers, which would allow them to be sued in state court. It would also mandate that sued officers who lose their case would be personally liable for five percent of the settlement amount, up to $25,000.

“Accountability is key to transparent, effective, community-based policing and helps to ensure the safety of both police officers and the communities they serve. Qualified immunity creates a barrier to accountability that is unacceptable,” Denson (pictured above, left) said. “Policing is a difficult job, there is no doubt about that. However, that does not diminish the need to hold police officers liable for their actions.”

The bill has not yet been introduced, but is in the final stages of drafting, according to the representatives.

The legislation follows both the police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant earlier this month and a report from the Ohio State University on police conduct during protests responding to the death of George Floyd last year.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.
Photo “Sedrick Denson” by Ohio State Representatives and photo “Thomas West” by Ohio State Representatives.





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2 Thoughts to “Upcoming House Bill Seeks to End Qualified Immunity for Ohio Police”

  1. Akcf

    How about you go do a ride along on a night shift with a police officer in one of the known high crime areas and see what it is like to be in there shoes before you are quick to pass judgment!!! But I’m sure you know everything and are to scared to

  2. Some Dude

    The police need to leave those cities where the people and politicians rise up, and repeatedly say, “the police are not wanted.” Even national top-level politicians rebuke ALL these officers’ actions, no matter WHO is at fault, now. Even an NBA hypocrite, lebron james, is stepping in with the unwarranted hate doxx of a police officer, too!

    Police unions should QUOTE those people as they announce THE REASON for the police’s SUBMISSION to The People’s, and voters’, will… as they all QUIT, en masse!

    No police is the society they want. Give it to them.

    At this point, the police are fools to continue in these areas where the police are hated & vilified & threatened with personal violence, no matter what they do; even if po lice 100% legally save lives, and perform their duties perfectly. The Democrats state, “the police are not wanted”; And, so, the police should give “the people” EXACTLY what they want & voted for. In fact, it is the police’s DUTY to obey the will of The Poeple, and stop policing.