CONTACT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND GOVERNOR BAKER TODAY TO PASS THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE POLICE REFORM BILL THIS SESSION
Body camera footage of Boston police using force against peaceful protestors during demonstrations was released this weekend and one officer has been placed on administrative leave. Now more than ever, we need to pass police reform and accountability legislation in the Commonwealth. We have just a few more days to get the bill over the finish line or risk losing the bill entirely. Governor Baker returned S.2963, An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth, to the Legislature with amendments that weaken it. The MA House of Representatives will be voting on Governor Baker’s amendments Tuesday and Wednesday. Please contact your state representative and Governor Baker TODAY and urge them to support the strongest possible police reform and accountability measures. The Legislature must act by Wednesday evening in order for any bill to pass this session. The Governor can sign the bill, veto it, or do nothing. If he does nothing to reply to a new bill, as long as it is sent to him by Dec. 26th, it will become law. If it is sent to him Dec. 27th or later, and he does nothing, that would be a "pocket veto" and the bill is dead.
The changes made by the Governor that weaken the bill are:
Changes definitions of use of force which opens them to interpretation by the officer: "imminent harm," "totality of circumstances," "necessary"
Moves supervision of training back to EOPSS (Executive Office of Public Safety and Security) rather than a separate, independent body
Changes timeline for hearings on de-certification: can be postponed indefinitely for "good cause”
Read more about the amendments and why we need to reject them here.