Simon Says – End Qualified Immunity

The art depicts Daniel Shaver in January 2016, on the floor, crawling unarmed, trying to stay in the game “Simon Says” by following the officer’s command, “You think you're going to fall, you better fall on your face! Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you!” Daniel Shaver trying to pull up his pants was enough of an excuse for Mesa police Officer Philip Brailsford to shoot him 5 times, killing him. Philip Brailsford was acquitted of all changes.

Qualified immunity protects law enforcement from liability in civil lawsuits unless plaintiffs (accusers) can show that precedents in the exact same situation, from previous cases have been “clearly established” as law. In practice however, “factual distinctions" are easily manufactured to nullify any precedent that may apply. For example, in a case in Texas in 2017, an officer cautioned two other officers not to tase a man who had doused himself in gasoline, as it might set him on fire. They tased him anyway. He caught fire, the house he was in burned down, and he died. The lawsuit against the cops was dismissed, since no officer had ever previously been found liable, violating someone's rights, specifically by tasing a person who had doused themselves in gasoline.



back to all artwork