Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan plans to unveil legislation this week that would allow citizens to file civil lawsuits against police officers for illegal and unconstitutional acts. Amash hopes the bill would mitigate police brutality after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

“This week, I am introducing the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights,” Amash tweeted on Sunday.

The qualified immunity doctrine currently shields law enforcement officials from being sued, even if they have allegedly violated a citizen’s rights. 

"The brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is merely the latest in a long line of incidents of egregious police misconduct," he continued. "This pattern continues because police are legally, politically, and culturally insulated from consequences for violating the rights of the people whom they have sworn to serve. That must change so that these incidents of brutality stop happening."

Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., intends to support the bill, an aide working in her office indicated to Reuters. Omar introduced a resolution last week to condemn “police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force” with Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged on Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Protests and civil unrest have erupted in cities across the country, with demonstrators calling for an end to institutional racism against African-Americans. Violent protests and looting have also taken place, with President Trump on Monday threatening to deploy a military crackdown.

Amash has strongly condemned the looting but also criticized Trump’s response to the unrest. 

“Rioting and looting—that’s selfish, destructive, criminal, contemptible,” Amash tweeted Tuesday. “But a president who assaults peaceful protesters, who threatens military force on American streets, who instigates and escalates—that’s something far more dangerous. That too must be condemned unequivocally.”

Amash, 40, has called Trump a “threat to our liberty, our Constitution, and the Rule of Law” and was planning on launching a Libertarian presidential bid to run in November’s general election. Amash, a former Republican who voted for the impeachment of Trump, decided against starting a presidential campaign due to the constraints from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.