Act Today on Racial Justice
"We must all advocate for anti-racist policies at every level of government," from LWVUS Statement 5/29/2020 on death of George Floyd.

Debate begins TODAY, July 22, in the House on H.4860: The House version of the police reform bill.

House members have filed 200+ amendments. A vote is expected within 24-72 hours. LWVMA submitted testimony to the committee which you can read here.

Please call and email your representative TODAY and urge them to support the strongest possible racial justice legislation by supporting the following amendments:

Find your rep's phone and email here.

#77 Preponderance of Evidence as the Burden of Proof for License Suspension and Revocation (Vargas)
This amendment is cosponsored by all members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.
Brings the standard of proof for suspending or revoking the license of an officer in line with other administrative proceedings in Massachusetts. The "preponderance of the evidence" standard protects the due process rights of officers while still making it possible for the Police Standards and Training Commission to revoke the licenses of officers who break the rules.

#176 Reforming Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers (Hecht)
Enables victims of police brutality to hold officers accountable in court by allowing officers to claim immunity only if it was clearly established that their conduct was lawful. Addresses illegal actions by law enforcement officers only, not by other public employees. Allows victims of police abuses to seek justice in court directly instead of limiting immunity only if an officer is decertified and only if the attorney general brings the lawsuit.

#100 Addressing Direct Civil Rights Violations (Provost)
Fixes a major flaw in MA civil rights law that does not exist in federal law or the law of other states and denies justice to victims of police abuses here in the Commonwealth. Allows victims of police brutality and other civil rights violations to bring claims in state court for direct violations of their rights-without having to prove that their rights were violated by means of threats, intimidation or coercion.

#116 Safety for Children and Elders (Miranda) and #127 Affidavit Establishing Probable Cause (Miranda) strengthen provisions for no-knock warrants.

#92 Pre-Emptive De-Escalation (Elugardo) Requires police departments to make plans for de-escalation in advance of protests

#97 No-Knock Warrants (Robinson) Bans the use of no-knock raids

#194 Use of force tactics (Robinson) Bans the use of rubber bullets and attack dogs by police

#200 Tear Gas (Connolly) Bans the use of tear gas

LWVMA has always supported action on the stand alone bills now added as amendments to the House bill:

#99 Work and Family Mobility-Driver's Licenses for All (Barber)
#103 Raise the Age to shift 18-year-olds to Juvenile Justice system (Khan and O'Day)
#166 Expungement (Vargas, Decker, and Mirra)
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