Ending ‘Qualified Immunity’ For Police Was Key To Texas’ George Floyd Act. It Went Nowhere In The Legislature
May 19, 2021
As pieces of the original George Floyd Act continue to pass through the Texas Legislature, none of the surviving bills address qualified immunity. The original bill commemorating George Floyd failed to pass out of the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, making it dead for this legislative session.
The bills that came from the George Floyd Act include HB 828, creating a disciplinary matrix for police misconduct; HB 830, prohibits arrests for misdemeanor traffic stops; and HB 834, requiring corroborating for testimony of undercover officers in drug cases.
Howard Henderson, director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University said changes to qualified immunity were the “crux” of calls for reform.
"That was what Texans were calling for,” Henderson said. “That's what people were looking to see, where officers would be held accountable and would not be protected by qualified immunity protections…You weren't going to get enough conservatives to support that, and that's the nature of politics, right?”