Police reform negotiators are no longer considering changes to qualified immunity, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Qualified immunity, which shields public officials, including police officers, from civil liability under some circumstances, has remained one of the main points of contention in the police reform negotiations. It being taken off the table could make the final product tough to sell to progressives, who want to see it scrapped altogether and have been outspoken about their demands to change the doctrine. But Republicans have been firm that they have no interest in getting rid of qualified immunity.
And other outstanding issues still remain. The lead negotiators — Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) — have missed several self-imposed deadlines but are continuing discussions, Politico reports.
A Republican source with direct knowledge of the talks emphasized that there's no final agreement yet on qualified immunity.
It is unclear if a police reform proposal without changes to qualified immunity could pass the House, where progressive Democrats like Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), a former Black Lives Matter activist, have called the removal of qualified immunity a redline.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and other Democrats have suggested that they’d be open to police reform legislation that didn’t get rid of qualified immunity.