RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia House Democrats finally passed a version of a bill to end qualified immunity for the Commonwealth’s police officers on their third attempt during the Governor’s special session, which was called to work on the state budget following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill sponsored by Del. Jeff Bourne would allow lawsuits by people who claim police have violated their constitutional rights to move forward in state court. It would end the qualified immunity that often protects police from liability. Critics fear due to the dangerous nature of the job, fewer people will want to become a police officer for fear of personal lawsuits.
The legislation had been killed once in committee and once on the House floor before winning approval Tuesday.
It will now go to the Senate, which has already rejected similar legislation.