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Los Angles, CA– On Thursday, Sep, 22nd, In response to the ruling, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, which has been supporting the Joseph family since 2015, calls to end qualified immunity. The legal doctrine which shields law enforcement officers from being held accountable when they kill and harm people.

Last week Black Lives Matter Grassroots and twelve Justice families whose loved ones were victims of police brutality called for an end to qualified immunity during Andrew’s trial, and now that Andrew’s family won the case, this will bring more awareness and support towards ending qualified immunity.

The call to action was made when Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) reintroduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act last year. The act would eliminate qualified immunity and enable accountability when police officers violate people’s legal and constitutionally secured rights.

“For too long, qualified immunity has protected the very people charged with upholding and enforcing the law from any consequence for breaking it,” said Rep. Pressley. The fact that the family of Andrew Joseph III – and so many others whose loved ones have been abused at the hands of police – would have to wait so long for a chance at accountability is unconscionable and a painful reminder of the need to end this unjust legal doctrine. I stand in solidarity with the Josephs and many families like theirs and urge Congress to finally pass my Ending Qualified Immunity Act to help families get the accountability and healing they deserve.”

Ms Pressley believes that the jury’s verdict is a step towards accountability for law enforcement and a blow to qualified immunity, although the case was won that does not mean justice was served as may black and brown people are still victims of police brutality.

Justice would mean that Andrew Joseph III was still alive, stepping into young adulthood with the whole world and every possibility before him. Justice would mean that 98 additional Black children were not forced to bear the wounds of racial profiling, criminalization, and a system of policing that despises and harms them. Justice would mean that Black children can be children who live in joy, and get to celebrate, and run and laugh at Student Day at the state fair...and everywhere else freedom takes them.

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“Andrew Joseph III should be with us today,” said Melina Abdullah, Director of Black Lives Matter Grassroots. “The only reason he isn’t alive today is that cops detained him in violation of his civil rights setting off a chain of events that led to his death. It is unacceptable that cops can escape responsibility for misconduct and violating our rights. It is beyond time we end qualified immunity and stop allowing cops to use their badge as a shield from accountability.”

While the jury ruled against the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, retired Corporal Mark Clark, the deputy who unjustly seized Andrew, was not held personally accountable.

Black Lives Matter Grassroots

The mission of Black Lives Matter Grassroots (BLMGR) is to support, sustain, and uplift the necessary agitations, mobilizations, community organizing, and initiatives of Black Lives Matter chapters to fulfill our sacred duty to advance Black liberation. #BlackLivesMatter was birthed to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. Black Lives Matter Grassroots is a collective of 26 chartered chapters globally working on the ground since 2013.

For more information, press only: Contact Name: Rockel Mundy, Press Support.