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House passes bill to end immunity for police, days after rejecting it

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 19:38:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The House of Delegates today passed legislation Tuesday that would end qualified immunity for police officers in Virginia, just days after the House rejected the bill.

The bill sponsored by Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond), would make it easier for people to sue police officers and collect money damages in state court for alleged violations of their civil rights.

It would also eliminate the immunity that shields police from liability.

The bill was initially defeated on September 4 in a 47-49-3 vote.

Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D-Fairfax) asked the chamber to reconsider the vote during Tuesday's session. The bill passed on a 49-45 vote.

“Today, the House of Delegates made significant strides in improving accountability and transparency throughout policing and our criminal justice system. These bills move our Commonwealth closer to realizing the promise that all Virginians are governed equally by the rule of law,” Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said.

Opponents argue that the legislation would result in frivolous lawsuits and make it difficult to hire and retain police officers.

The bill will now go to the Senate, which has already rejected similar legislation.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.