Law enforcement officers who abuse their privileges — through excessive force, harassment or injury — are held to shockingly low standards of accountability under qualified immunity, a legal principle that shields them from liability.

These officers can walk away with impunity, even though their gross misconduct in the line of duty has shattered lives.

How is it possible for the police to truly protect when qualified immunity gives them the right to harm?

For far too long, the system has failed the victims of police wrongdoing, from Malaika Brooks in 2004 to George Floyd in 2020, and so many others in past and recent years. These victims and their families deserve better.

To defend the constitutional rights of every citizen and prevent more unnecessary tragedies, we must end qualified immunity.

Changing this policy will send a clear message: Actions have consequences. And nobody is above the law — not even law enforcement.

Matthew Boguske, Redmond