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Thousands march in Washington, D.C. protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police, on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Derek Chauvin, the police officer that was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as the unarmed, handcuffed man laid flat and unable to breathe, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Mass demonstrations have taken place nationwide since the incident took place. Thousands march in Washington, D.C., protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police, on June 6, 2020.

Earlier this month, Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act. The bill, now co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, would eliminate qualified immunity, a judicially created legal doctrine that protects many police officers from lawsuits brought by victims of excessive force. Ending qualified immunity is an important measure for increasing law enforcement accountability, and because the U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will not reconsider its qualified immunity decisions, the onus is now on Congress to act. But this task is an odd one because the Ending Qualified Immunity Act amends a law that never expressly included qualified immunity in the first place.

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