Alert Follow us at @49erswz until Twitter fixes the issues with our official account.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Several 49ers players, coaches among 1,400 who sign letter supporting bill to end qualified immunity for police

Jun 10, 2020 at 8:33 AM--


The Players Coalition accumulated 1,400 (virtual) signatures of current and retired athletes, coaches, general managers, and staff members from the NFL, NBA, and MLB on a letter to the United States Congress in support of a bill to end qualified immunity, according to ESPN. The bill, introduced last Thursday, seeks to end the hurdles which make it difficult to sue police officers when they violate constitutional rights.

The letter included prominent names like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and others. It also included several individuals with ties to the San Francisco 49ers, including Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair, Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Jaquiski Tartt, and coaches Daniel Bullocks, Johnny Holland, Katie Sowers, and Kris Kocurek.


The bill was introduced by U.S. Representatives Justin Amash and Ayanna Pressley in response to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police.

Below is the submitted letter from the Players Coalition, in its entirety.

Dear Members of the United States Congress:

We are more than 1,400 current and former professional athletes and coaches from across the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball in America. We are tired of conversations around police accountability that go nowhere, and we have engaged in too many "listening sessions" where we discuss whether there is a problem of police violence in this country. There is a problem. The world witnessed it when Officer Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and the world is watching it now, as officers deploy enormous force on peaceful protestors like those who were standing outside of the White House last week. The time for debate about the unchecked authority of the police is over; it is now time for change.

We are writing to ask that you pass the bill to end qualified immunity introduced by Representatives Justin Amash and Ayanna Pressley. Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871 to give ordinary citizens recourse when powerful public officials violate constitutional rights. By passing that Act, codified in 42 U.S.C. 1983, Congress told its citizenry that no one is above the law, especially those who abuse government power. A healthy democracy requires no less; citizens must know that if those who promise to uphold the law and protect the community fail to do so, there is a remedy available. The law, as one author has noted, is "a bulwark of American liberty."

The Supreme Court has caused irreparable harm to public trust by creating and then expanding the doctrine of qualified immunity, which often exempts police officers and others from liability, even for shocking abuse. Under that doctrine, first developed in 1967 and widened ever since, plaintiffs must show that government officials violated "clearly established" law to receive damages for harm. A plaintiff wins only if a prior Court found an official liable under a nearly identical fact-pattern. This standard is virtually impossible to meet, and the protections promised under section 1983 seem largely symbolic as a result.

Qualified immunity has shielded some of the worst law enforcement officials in America. The 8th Circuit applied it to an officer who wrapped a woman in a bear hug, slammed her to the ground, and broke her collarbone as she walked away from him. The 9th Circuit applied the doctrine to two officers who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant. The Eleventh Circuit applied the doctrine to protect an officer who unintentionally shot a ten-year old while firing at the family dog (who, much like the child, posed no threat). The list of officers who suffered no consequences because of this doctrine could fill a law book.

It is time for Congress to eliminate qualified immunity, and it can do so by passing the Amash-Pressley bill. When police officers kill an unarmed man, when they beat a woman, or when they shoot a child, the people of this country must have a way to hold them accountable in a court of law. And officers must know that if they act in such a manner, there will be repercussions. A legal system that does not provide such a recourse is an illegitimate one. In their grief, people have taken to the streets because for too long, their government has failed to protect them. The Courts and elected officials alike have instead shielded people who caused unspeakable harm. Congress must not be complicit in these injustices, and it should take this important step to show that law enforcement abuse will not be tolerated.

Sincerely,
Players Coalition members, current/former NFL, NBA, MLB players and coaches





More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers announce several roster moves, reach injury settlement with WR Tavon Austin

By David Bonilla
7 hrs ago

The San Francisco 49ers have announced the following roster moves. OL Tony Bergstrom and DL Willie Henry Jr. have been signed to the practice squad. CB Brian Allen, OL Cody Conway, and DL Adam Shuler have been released from the practice squad. The 49ers have reached an injury settlement with WR Tavon Austin, and he is no longer on the team's injured reserve list. The 49ers Communication staff provided the following rundown. Bergstrom (6-5, 310) was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round (95th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Throughout his eight-year career with the

Read the Full Article


Peter King names 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo among his Offensive Players of the Week

By David Bonilla
Oct 19, 2020

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a pretty good bounce-back game against the Los Angeles Rams after an embarrassingly poor two quarters of play a week earlier. The 49ers passer finished the game 23-of-33 for 268 yards with three touchdowns. Each of those scores, by the way, was hauled in by three different players. In fact, Garoppolo did a good job of getting everyone involved in the passing game. Eight different players caught at least one pass, with All-Pro tight end George Kittle leading the way with seven receptions for 109 yards and a score. Garoppolo's performance was enough to impress Peter King of NBC Sports, who named the 49ers quarterback among his Offensive Players of the Week. "For a slumping and gimpy Garoppolo, Sunday

Read the Full Article


Brandon Aiyuk, Laken Tomlinson among PFF's highest-graded players from 49ers-Patriots

By David Bonilla
Oct 26, 2020

Rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk played 50 snaps on Sunday against the New England Patriots and was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded (89.0) skill position player from the matchup. He finished the game with six catches for 115 yards — his first NFL game surpassing 100 yards receiving. The highest-graded player from the game — with significant snaps — was guard Laken Tomlinson who earned an overall mark of 91.1. On defense, the highest-graded player with 30-or-more snaps was linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair. Defensive back Jamar Taylor and linebacker Fred Warner, both of whom hauled in interceptions, also scored high marks. Below were the five highest-graded 49ers players on offense against the Patriots. Laken

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

Trending News

More News
Share 49erswebzone