WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm EST, Reps. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Cori Bush (Mo-01) will join Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the family of Andrew Joseph III for a press conference in support of ending qualified immunity.
The press conference will take place in front of U.S. Department of Justice at 950 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC. Speakers will include:
- Andrew Joseph Jr. and Deanna Joseph, Parents of #AndrewJosephIII
- Dr. Melina Abdullah, Director of Black Lives Matter – Grassroots
- Eva Marcille, Media Personality, Actor, and Activist
This week, the Joseph family met with the CBC among other lawmakers and will drop off a petition with 50,000 signatures in support of their efforts. The week will culminate with a press conference in front of the Department of Justice tomorrow to demand the Biden Administration take steps to end qualified immunity.
This also comes as President Biden called for increasing police funding and failing to offer any tangibles on police accountability.
Actress and media personality Eva Marcille, of America’s Next Top Model and the Real Housewives of Atlanta, will join Black Lives Matter and the Joseph family to end the unjust legal doctrine which shields police from accountability. For thousands of families across the country, qualified immunity has been a barrier to even getting something as basic as a day in court after their loved one is killed by police.
Andrew Joseph III was just 14-years-old when he was killed as a result of the unjust acts of Hillsborough County Sheriffs while attending “Student Day” at the Florida State Fair on February 7, 2014. Eight years later, Andrew’s family still hasn’t received a day in court, blocked by law enforcement claims of qualified immunity at every turn.
The petition calls on Congress and the White House to remove protections that continue to shield police from any accountability.
In 2014, fourteen-year-old Andrew Joseph III was attending Student Day at the Florida State Fair. Without any lawful basis, Andrew was profiled and taken away by Hillsborough County Sheriffs. No attempt was made to contact the middle-schooler’s parents. Instead, Andrew was loaded with 98 other Black children into the sheriff’s vehicles, removed from the fairgrounds, and dropped off two miles away in a dark, unfamiliar area on the side of a busy highway. Andrew was killed by a white motorist, who was never even breathalyzed after running Andrew over.
To this day, no one from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department has been held accountable.
For the past 8 years, Andrew’s family has worked tirelessly to bring attention to their case and other impacted families like them. They are calling Congress to pass the End Qualified Immunity Act and calling on the Biden Administration to take executive action to end qualified immunity to give families like the Josephs the ability to hold police accountable.