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Monday, May 27, 2024

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At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

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One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

MA Lawmakers Aim to End Qualified Immunity, Let People Sue Police

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Monday, April 24, 2023   

Massachusetts lawmakers in Congress have reintroduced legislation which would allow people to sue police officers and other state and local government officials.

The Ending Qualified Immunity Act would eliminate the doctrine created by the Supreme Court, which protects police officers from individual liability for violating a person's constitutional rights.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said the bill ensures police, and all officials, are held accountable for their actions.

"It makes no sense that the very people responsible for enforcing the law face no consequences for breaking it," Pressley contended.

The bill was first introduced in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and Pressley argued it provides the families of those abused by police with the healing they deserve. Supporters of qualified immunity said officers should not have to fear lawsuits when dealing with potentially dangerous suspects.

More than 1,000 people in the U.S. were killed by police last year, a record high, according to the nonprofit Mapping Police Violence.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said for decades, qualified immunity has shielded officers who use excessive force, far too often suffered by Black and brown Americans.

"There will be no true justice until there is racial justice," Markey asserted. "And there will be no racial justice until we end qualified immunity."

Markey added victims and their families are due their day in court against those officials who violate their civil rights. At least forty lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.


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Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

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Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

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This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


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Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

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Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

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A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

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It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

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As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

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