Question: “Hey GOP, Did Indiana Senator Mike Braun switch political party affiliation and not tell anyone?”
It’s not an unreasonable query to offer up considering the first-term Republican’s (?) efforts to legislatively water down “Qualified Immunity” – a judicially created doctrine that is designed to protect law enforcement officers from frivolous lawsuits and prosecution when their actions do not violate a clearly established statutory or constitutional right.
Sen. Braun just introduced his bill, the Reforming Qualified Immunity Act, last week, which eliminates the present qualified immunity mandate, restoring it to a previously accepted standard.
The issue of qualified immunity has become a topic of national discussion after the death of George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Braun claimed in an appearance on Fox News with Tucker Carlson Monday night that his bill has the support of the law enforcement community in Indiana – a claim that the Indiana State Police Alliance and the Indiana State Police Department challenged in separate statements Tuesday.
“I checked with the Indiana State Police Indiana Sheriffs Association Fraternal Order of Police [and] spent over an hour with them last week to make sure I wasn’t off base,” Braun told Carlson in his Monday appearance.
When asked by Carlson which law enforcement groups were endorsing the bill, Braun replied, “They’re not endorsing it, but they said it was a good template to work from.”
“But why aren’t they endorsing it then? You’ve cited them twice as supporters of this idea, but they’re not endorsing your bill?” Carlson asked. “So they don’t actually support it. So why are you bringing them up as evidence that it’s a good idea?”
Indiana State Police Alliance disputed Braun’s claim in a statement Tuesday.
“Despite assertions to the contrary, the Indiana State Police Alliance as well as the Indiana State Police Department did not aid in the development of this legislation and did not give our support for the bill’s language prior to its release,” the group said, noting that Sen. Braun is the only Republican so far to back some form of repealing qualified immunity.
The ISPA also disputed Braun’s assertions about their support of the bill.
“In the wake of Sen. Braun’s recent interview with Tucker Carlson, the Indiana State Police Alliance is shocked at the inaccuracy is presented on that show,” the group said. “For clarification, the organization’s leadership spoke to Sen. Braun days after he released legislative language on qualified immunity reform for police officers.”
Braun also faced criticism Tuesday for expressing his support of Black Lives Matter – an organization that has openly called for the murder of police officers.
Braun previously stated during an appearance on the “Against The Grain” podcast that he endorsed BLM because the organization was “addressing an inequity that has not been solved on a grassroots level.”
Carlson took Sen. Braun to the woodshed for those comments Monday night. The full, contentious exchange between Sen. Braun and the Fox News host can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Is Braun still breathing? Check his pulse!
Hammer and Nigel offered some brutally-honest commentary on Sen. Braun’s appearance on their afternoon program Tuesday. Click below to listen.