State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff
Press Release

Rep. Brostoff Celebrates Passage of Milwaukee County Resolution in Support of Ending Qualified Immunity for Police


By - Jun 25th, 2021 12:05 pm

MILWAUKEE – In celebration of the passage yesterday of Milwaukee County Board Resolution 21-462, which affirms Milwaukee County’s support for ending qualified immunity for law enforcement, State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“Yesterday’s vote by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is a win for Milwaukee County, for Wisconsin, and for the concepts of good policing and accountability in law enforcement. Over the last 50 years, qualified immunity has morphed from a good-faith protection for law enforcement into a vague, near-catchall defense that has been repeatedly used by police officers across the country to violate the rights of the people they are supposed to protect with no consequences, and it must be ended. The evidence bears this out: across the country in red, blue, and purple areas alike, ending qualified immunity has had noticeable and immediate effects on lowering rates of police violence and protecting the rights of individuals. As Supervisor Clancy pointed out during yesterday’s debate, leaked memos from New York City even showed that it was the city’s decision to end qualified immunity, not long-standing policy or good practice, that made law enforcement associations in New York City encourage their members to actually follow the law when interacting with individuals!”

First introduced by Milwaukee County Supervisors Ryan Clancy, Felesia Martin, Shawn Rolland, Steven Shea, Willie Johnson, Jr., and Sequanna Taylor, Resolution 21-462 passed the full County Board on a vote of 16-2 yesterday afternoon, after having been referred to the full Board by the Intergovernmental Relations Committee earlier this month. The contents of the resolution will now be communicated to the Wisconsin Counties Association and state and federal policymakers in Wisconsin, and Milwaukee County will take a formal stance in support of ending qualified immunity for police.

“I want to thank Supervisors Clancy, Martin, Rolland, Shea, Johnson, Jr., and Taylor for introducing this resolution, and I want to thank the assembled County Board for adding Milwaukee County to the list of organizations, academics, lawmakers, and former law enforcement officials from across the political spectrum who have joined the chorus of voices recognizing the need to end qualified immunity across this country. As we have seen time and time again, qualified immunity does nothing more than protect corrupt cops from accountability, lowers trust levels with the community, and tarnishes the very profession of law enforcement. It is my mission to end this policy in Wisconsin, and I am so proud and grateful to have the support of the Milwaukee County Board in that fight. Now, let’s get this done.”

Recent Press Releases by State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Rep. Brostoff Statement on Passage of Assembly Bill 68

“We Had the Opportunity to Pass a Budget That Worked for Everyone… This Was Not That Budget”

3 thoughts on “Rep. Brostoff Celebrates Passage of Milwaukee County Resolution in Support of Ending Qualified Immunity for Police”

  1. says:

    I want to thank Rep. Brostoff and the Milwaukee County Board for demonstrating leadership in pursuit of ending qualified immunity for our police. Until we end qualified immunity, we will never be able to have any level of trust or support for improved relations between the police and community residents. Qualified immunity allows officers to abuse their power at will and they do so whenever they choose.

  2. Trmott says:

    Unless we have something like qualified immunity, don’t you worry that we’ll have difficulty recruiting and retaining quality individuals in the future, given the nature of their work and the risk they routinely and necessarily assume? What about having the police department, rather than an individual cop, be liable for such judicial penalties? The “bad apples” would then be subject to termination and we’d not have cases against individual officers languishingin the court system ad infinitum.

  3. says:

    We will never be able to recruit individuals to the police department who actually understand what it is to ‘serve and protect’ that bring the integrity and intelligence to what policing should be without eliminating ‘qualified immunity.’ The fact of the matter is, we now have a police department made up of ‘bad apples’ with very few who are actually what the public deserves and should expect. As long as police feel they can (and do) get away with whatever they want in abusing the public–particularly people of color–they will continue to harass, beat, and kill individuals without any accountability. The public is so used to putting police on a pedestal that they currently do not question and convict police for their conduct. This has to stop. If people are afraid to join the force because they will be held accountable, then they are not the individuals we need in law enforcement.

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