Police reform bill needs your help today

The Massachusetts House recently posted a police reform bill (H.4860) after the Senate passed their version (S.2800). Here are the differences (courtesy of Digital 4th):

Police rape of residents outlawed?YesYes
Qualified immunity limited?YesNo
School info sharing with “gang” database limited?YesYes
Government use of face surveillance banned?Temporary, plus RMVPermanent, minus RMV
Local discretion on whether to have police in schools?YesNo
Local elected official approval process for military equipment acquisition by police?YesNo
Chokeholds outlawed if intent or result of unconsciousness or death?YesYes
No-knock warrants limited?YesYes
Data collection on police traffic and pedestrian stops to prevent profiling?YesNo

The Senate bill (except for only having a temporary ban on the use of facial recognition technology), is the better bill, though it doesn’t go far enough. Neither bill outlaws all police rape, chokeholds, tear gas, other chemical irritants, or the use of dogs at protests. Nor do they end qualified immunity, information sharing of schools with the police and ICE, the military equipment to police pipeline, no-knock warrants, or civil asset forfeitures. Both would still allow police officers to be stationed in our schools or require police to collect data on all of their stops.

The House will start debate on this bill today or tomorrow at the latest. Now is the time to contact your House Rep. and tell them to amend H.4860 to at least make it as good as the Senate bill and preferably better. You can find your House Rep’s phone number at https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator.

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