By Josephine Walker
Virginia has made headlines in recent months for criminal justice reform measures but advocates say more needs to be done. They are disappointed lawmakers in both chambers of the General Assembly recently killed proposals to reduce qualified immunity protections for police officers.
State lawmakers so far this session have advanced bills to legalize marijuana, remove mandatory minimum sentences and abolish the death penalty. During the special session called last year, the General Assembly banned police from using no-knock search warrants and chokeholds.
Qualified immunity shields government officials from civil liability while performing duties in their line of work as long as their actions don’t violate “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known,” according to a Congressional…