Top Republican Endorses Police Reform?

Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is possibly considering compromising in negotiations regarding police reforms.

Graham had been one of the most important holdouts in the police reform policy push that emerged following the death of George Floyd in 2020. More recently, a second death has reignited the calls for police reforms.

Tyre Nichols, 29, was beaten by five Memphis police officers in January. He was hospitalized and died 3 days later because of the beating. The video of the incident was made public on Friday. Since then there have been many who have started to once again push for greater police reforms. However, one of the key issues that the Republicans and Democrats can’t appear to find common ground on is qualified immunity.

According to qualified immunity, law enforcement is not liable in civil lawsuits unless it can be proved that the allegations against them show a clear violation of constitutional rights. This is why many police misconduct cases are not able to be handled.

Democrats have previously pushed for qualified immunity to be completely thrown out. However, Republicans have insisted that this level of protection was important for law enforcement agents.

Recently on social media, Graham has said that while he did not think individual officers should have to face civil lawsuits, their departments should have to hold the liability for the actions that are taken by their police force. He added that departments should be liable for any misconduct that takes place in their office.