The co-founders of Ben & Jerry's, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have launched a campaign to end qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. Their goal is reportedly to make it easier for people to sue police officers as individuals and force them to pay awards from their personal bank accounts and real estate.
Cohen and Greenfield announced the campaign Tuesday in a virtual press conference, the Mercury News reports.
Activist Shaun King and rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render joined the meeting along with other reform advocates.
NFL stars Tom Brady and Drew Brees are among the more than 1,500 athletes and artists who have endorsed the Ben & Jerry’s campaign, which is also supported by 671 business leaders, according to its website.
“We are now united in a coalition that is resolved to end this get-out-of-jail free card for bad cops,” Cohen told reporters during the briefing. “It is now time to shift from protest to policy.”
Cohen and Greenfield have long been supporters of anti-police activism. Cohen signed a petition in support of a new trial for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Ben & Jerry's as a company has thrown support behind Black Lives Matter, including during last year's numerous anti-police protests and riots.
The company was acquired by Unilever in 2000. It is an autonomous subsidiary of the massive UK-based multinational.
Unilever's comfort with Ben & Jerry’s social justice stances has been surprising to Helio Fred Garcia, founder and CEO of Logos Consulting Group, a crisis management company that works for major corporations.
“Conglomerates typically try to stay off the radar screen on divisive social issues,” Garcia told CNN Business. “There’s no surprise that the Ben & Jerry’s brand is involved. What is intriguing is that their parent Unilever seems to be perfectly comfortable with that.”
Unilever's makes numerous consumer products. You can find a list here.