Sherrilyn Ifill: There Is Bi-Partisan Support For Reforming Qualified Immunity

Published on June 19, 2020

The president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill, joins Stephen to talk about the intent behind the phrase “defund the police,” and why there is Congressional support from both sides of the aisle for making changes to qualified immunity laws. #StephenAtHome #SherrilynIfill #NAACP

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  • laalaa99stl 3 months ago

    The way I see it, there are only 3 paths moving forward to get Qualified Immunity reform (QI):
    1. Ask Trump to reconsider his unwillingness to sign any bill that includes QI reform (fat chance).
    2. Accept Tim Scott’s half-assed bill or the Democrats bill minus QI reform. Then hope either SCOTUS or a future session of Congress can rectify the omission.
    3. Wait for what will hopefully be a regime change in November.

  • laalaa99stl 3 months ago

    The problem with “defund the police” is that Trump has already weaponized it. 50% of independent voters (who represent 40% of the electorate and who will likely decide the election) don’t want to hear it. Rebrand it as “re-evauating policing priorities” or “smarter policing.” But avoid the phrase that will only serve to get Trump re-elected.

  • A Wee Scots Dog 3 months ago

    The Juneteenth – with no “aka”

    Juneteenth I’d never heard of before
    It is a sorry tale
    A celebration – true of course
    But also it’s the nail

    That was left in the crucified
    When the others were long gone
    An additional enslavement
    Two and a half years long

    The tardiness still lingers
    It beats in the hearts of men
    Who cannot see injustice
    As it happens once again

    In “random” stops got out of hand
    Despite desperate pleas
    With heavy-handed tactics
    And uncontrolled “restraining” knees

    So let us not forget again
    The Juneteenth portmanteau
    And let equality and love
    Forevermore learn and grow

    Note: I usually write a little “aka” subtitle in brackets – it is my motif of sorts. Hence the reason why I mention “no aka”. It’s also an indication that this is one of the very few of my pieces of “doggerel” that is not done for laughs – they are as rare as hens teeth.

    I hope you have a wonderful Juneteenth.


    … and love from Scotland

  • New Message 3 months ago

    Graham is for it?

    not sure how I feel about that.

  • Colin McKerlie 3 months ago

    It’s easy folks – you make every person who wants to be a lawyer work as a police officer for 6 months every year for 5 years as they do their law degree in the other six months of each of those years and they get their police pay all year. You make it so a huge percentage of junior officers have something more important to think of than the cop code of silence. Immediately, cop culture would be dominated by people who really had something to lose and the intelligence to apply the law not just bully people. And lawyers would know the real world.

  • mary jones 3 months ago

    beautifully said and explained, ty prof ifill, mr colbert and fam, mr batiste and stay human. please change the name! it is just giving trumputin and his gop ammunition. we need to shart calling it something more easily understood and less easily weaponized by them.

  • Honkytonkified 3 months ago

    Yes! Qualified Immunity has been a get out of jail free card for bandits with badges, domestic terrorist in blue uniforms assaulting and bullying…It’s gone on tooooook long!

  • Maria Darlington 3 months ago

    good show . can you raise the level of sound – voices.. even your voice goes down. continue to have guests who talk about important issues.

  • happydug 3 months ago

    A cop with a badge doesn’t just kill black people, they kill whites, browns, reds, yellows, purples, you name it. Cops sometimes let the power go to their head, and that always leads to excessive force. I know, I’ve experienced it. Not all cops let the power get to them, most are good people. Put them in riot gear and tell them to disperse the crowd and you created a huge problem. Most people working for a paycheck would say ok.

  • Çommenter Person 3 months ago

    Is this the first time, globally, that humans (without coercion) bound together to express their support for basic global human rights/experience?

  • Nick D 3 months ago

    I think we can tell this woman has a lot more to say I hope we’all get to actually hear. Thanks to Stephen for opening the floodgate — just a nice doing of your part! Edit: Plus, i recall NAACP being talked up & about more in the 1970’s, so good & timely to see them up on our radar again.

  • Jerome Garcia 3 months ago

    That’s funny, I got 3 lawsuits pro se currently because no one wants to touch police because qualified immunity, yet I have 3 active cases and have 4 others waiting stemming from police profiling and harassment and criminal acts and state agencies working together to infringe upon my rights,
    But not one group out here helping someone of color that’s even been on national TV being violated on live PD and no groups… So I claim bullshit, everyone doing mouth service because it’s obvious now, but ain’t nobody out here doing shit to help, if anyone wants I got videos you can enjoy to prove it, oh and that live PD footage you can watch, oh wait, the police body cams we’re destroyed, and live PD don’t speaka engrish and can’t find it… Lol
    Justice?? Yeah, ok I’m native American black and Spanish, the frickin trifecta of what you don’t want to be in America, I bet my 44 years of life on it…

  • Marjorie Kelly 3 months ago

    Brilliant, clear and much needed explanation of what defunding the police means. Thank you.

  • Alex Milak 3 months ago

    After we end qualified immunity, prosecutorial immunity should be next. What the legal system can throw at you after arrest in the USA is just as criminal in many cases and similarly never addressed.

  • michael hemingway 3 months ago

    Refund the police like how you get a refund for a faulty product

  • R Gracia 3 months ago

    Qualified immunity is in place to avoid frivolous law suits which in this country is insane. I mean people have sued McDonalds for coffee being too hot or for making them fat. Average salary of a police officer in the US is $53k. Imagine having to pay for a defense every time someone gets offended or claims they were wronged. If people would actually read up on qualified immunity they would find that quite often officers to not qualify for “qualified immunity” because they violated “clearly established” rights. So no it’s not a get out of jail free card. Also, you won’t have to abolish police. Removing qualified immunity will get rid of a ton and those who stick around won’t respond to anything.

  • Intelligence Hurts 3 months ago

    If we elected leaders that believed all people are equal we wouldn’t need to fight like this

  • prankmonkey650 3 months ago

    This lady has no idea what she is talking about. Qualified Immunity allows police to do their job. If that is revoked, officers would be sued every time force was used. Imagine an officer being shot at, they shoot the subject trying to kill the officer, and the offender could sue the officer. No one would want to be the police.

  • Patryk Walczak 3 months ago

    such an importatnt interview, listen to every sentence she says!

  • First name Last name 3 months ago

    The Supreme Court invented it, out of thin air in 1982, Qualified immunity is a “shield” for all Government Officials, giving them immunity, from being held accountable by the public they serve… Why would you be immune form being held accountable as a public servant?

  • Christy Sweet 3 months ago

    Violence, Stephen? They murder with impunity again and again and again. Ifill reacts to your diminishing. You did it with Stacy Abrams, too. Does Qualified Immunity cover police obstruction of justice?

  • y1521t21b5 3 months ago

    Her cousin was a first-rate journalist.

  • Pepper Potts 3 months ago

    An incredibly well-spoken, engaging, intelligent, knowledgeable woman. This was an excellent interview.

  • Diane O'Donovan 3 months ago

    Why can’t the voters sue the police organisation in their state or city? Why aren’t the police accountable to the electors? Individual suits put too much on the grieving family, and in many states can be continued until they are exhausted (emotionally and financially), or by a SLAPP suit. And the organisation doesn’t suffer at all for their failure to properly choose and train police.

  • E. 3 months ago

    In Germany we have a service that deals with minor nuisances: the Ordnungsamt. They are called when the neighbour’s music is too loud at night or to deal with littering offenes and so on. They don’t carry guns and don’t have the power of arrest but I think they can issue fines (I’m not quite sure, though). I think many of the “Karen-calls” would go there, if you had such a service.

  • dbc680 3 months ago


  • Marcia Lynn 3 months ago

    Rock on. Thank you for your advocasy.


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