Early this morning, after nearly 17 hours of painful debate, the Senate passed their vision of police reform by a 30 to 7 vote with 3 members voting present. Senators Rush, Collins from Boston , Velis, Gobi, Fattman, Moore and Tran from central and western Mass voting no . Senators Tarr, O Connor and DiZoglio voted present. Those 10, along with Senators Brady, Pacheco, Welsh, Keenan, Timilty and Feeney supported our amendments on qualified immunity and due process which were defeated 24 to 16.We thank them for their courage in trying to mitigate this disastrous legislation.
This bill takes handcuffs off of gang bangers and drug dealers and puts them on police. It allows criminal records to disappear while police personnel records are ripped wide open. It allows criminals to appeal to courts for monetary damage but limits the ability of police to appeal for their jobs. Sad but true.
As bad as the substance of the bill, it was the outrage and vitriol in their speeches which struck me. Although many said they loved the police, that was not reflected in their voices or actions.
We must work harder in the House which plans to take the topic up next week to assure the final legislation is fair and equitable. Until then, keep your head up and stay safe.