West Resendes Advocates for Stopping Student Policing and Ending Qualified Immunity

West Resendes (’19), current Fellow with the ACLU Disability Rights Program, published two ACLU News & Commentary pieces on advancing racial equity and disability justice. West’s letter to President Biden on behalf of the ACLU and 151 signatories calls for an executive order eliminating DOJ funding for school police (“President Biden: Stop Funding the Policing of Our Students,” Feb. 25). “There are currently 14 million students in schools with police and no nurses, social workers, or psychologists. Instead of pouring money into law enforcement, President Biden must redirect the additional $300 million designated for community policing — which often goes into placing police in schools — and invest it in our communities.” West also joined in filing an amicus brief supporting a petition for en banc review of a Fifth Circuit case concerning applying qualified immunity and the death of Gabriel Eduardo Olivas (“We Must Abolish Qualified Immunity to Prevent Further Police Harm — Especially for People in Mental Health Crises,” Mar. 19). “[I]f the court fails to take this opportunity, the justices of the Supreme Court must act: namely, by abolishing qualified immunity. . . . By doing away with qualified immunity, we can begin to hold officers accountable for their conduct while reimagining their role in our communities. However, that’s only a temporary solution. The real fix is to get police out of the business of responding to mental health crises entirely. The lives of people with disabilities are at stake.”