I sent an email to my Representative (Rep. Ted Lieu, CA 33) to request his support of Justin Amash’s bill to End Qualified Immunity. I did so immediately upon Amash’s announcement of the bill.

Today, Lieu got back to me to inform me he cosponsored the Justice in Policing Act (HR 7120). He also cosponsored House Resolution 988 condemning all acts of police brutality.

He did not actually address Amash’s bill which was what my request was about.

Here is my response sent via email but shared for the rest of you.

Dear Representative Lieu,

I appreciate your willingness to be part of a Resolution condemning the brutality I encourage that. I also encourage you to be more involved in *action* on this issue.

With all due respect, the reform bill known as “Justice in Policing” is a toothless bill.

  • It creates limitations (Sec 343) on the Freedom of Information Act – so this information will be COLLECTED but is not allowed to be PUBLISHED under various conditions. This is BAD.
  • It does not eliminate the transfer of military equipment to police. (On that, btw, please oppose program 1033 of the NDAA when it comes up again).
  • It only bans no-knock warrants for drug-related investigations. Not all others. ALL NO-KNOCK needs to be banned.
  • It does not require state attorneys general to create an independent process to investigate misconduct or excessive force.
  • It does not ELIMINATE qualified immunity.
  • It applies only to federal police.
  • Deadly holds are already often banned, it’s the qualified immunity and unions that render those regulations ineffectual.
  • Body cams aren’t enough – officers should be held accountable for body cams being turned off.

We need ENORMOUS reform. We don’t need toothless pandering to police unions. We need ACTION taken on every level to protect civilians from an abusive police force where the bad cops are protected and the good cops either don’t last or are corrupted and themselves become bad.

  • We need to REQUIRE police carry personal liability insurance. It is NOT okay for taxpayers to pay out on civil suits against officers.
  • We need to END qualified immunity.
  • We need full-scale demilitarization. NO TEAR GAS, NO TANKS.
  • We need to END civil asset forfeiture.
  • We need to terminate police unions, quite frankly, though that’s a pipe dream in this political climate.

Justin Amash’s TRI-partisan bill to END QUALIFIED IMMUNITY must pass the House and I URGE you support it and I also support Rand Paul’s Bill to Ban No Knock Warrants (Justice For Breonna Taylor Act), which is in the Senate but I would recommend vocal support of.

These are the moments that define us throughout history. Please stand with the people against the abuses of police, and stand for REAL reforms that change the entire profession of policing.

With respect and thanks for your attention,

Avens O’Brien


(Yes, obviously we also need to end victimless crimes and drug crimes and all that, but I’m trying to at least focus the issue a little bit for the purposes of him possibly proposing amendments.)