New Hampshire first congressional district Republican candidate Matt Mowers slammed Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) on Tuesday after the New Hampshire Democrat called to eliminate police departments’ qualified immunity protection.
Freshman swing district Democrat Pappas told a local New Hampshire television network he would support Democrat measures to remove police officers’ qualified immunity standard, which protects police departments from frivolous civil suits so they can focus on keeping communities safe.
The television anchor asked, “Do you think that police officers should retain their qualified immunity?”
Pappas admitted that he would support eliminating qualified immunity, saying, “I think that we do need to see increased accountability and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would get rid of qualified immunity, which is a concept that was created by the courts a couple of decades ago. ”
Pappas’ recent remarks strike a stark contrast from his comments in June when he chided calls to defund police departments.
“That’s not something I support,” Pappas said of the Defund the Police movement. “We’ve increasingly asked law enforcement to do more and more beyond their core mission.
“I’ve had a great working relationship with law enforcement here in New Hampshire,” Pappas also claimed.
The New Hampshire Democrat also claimed that “institutional racism” “exists across this country.”
Mowers, a former Donald Trump administration official, slammed Pappas for calling to remove qualified immunity, which the New Hampshire conservative charged would endanger New Hampshire’s police officers.
Mowers said in a statement on Tuesday:
I am disgusted that Chris Pappas can look our brave law enforcement officers in the eye, tell them he supports them, and then turn around to support a measure that he now admits was chiefly about ending qualified immunity. Instead of supporting our law enforcement, Chris Pappas is playing political games with this radical measure that will make good cops’ jobs both more dangerous and impossible.
Granite State law enforcement officers need to know their Representative in Congress has their back – instead, Pappas has taken a knee to Pelosi and the far-left fringe of his party, endangering our communities and the lives of law enforcement officers here in New Hampshire.
Paul Callaghan, the lieutenant in the Strafford County, New Hampshire sheriff’s office, said that ending qualified immunity would jeopardize New Hampshire law enforcement. He explained:
We want to encourage police departments to meet the most current professional standards for use of force, including using de-escalation techniques. At the same time, we must confront the reality that good police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions in dangerous and rapidly evolving circumstances.
He added, “When the safety of the community and officers is jeopardized because of fear of frivolous lawsuits, we’ve dangerously politicized law enforcement.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.