State reps. prepare for lengthy police reform debate

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – More than 200 amendments have been filed on the bill, and the debate is expected to go well into the night.

House lawmakers are scheduled to begin debating the bill around 11 a.m on Wednesday. Ahead of their deliberations, a group of Massachusetts police chiefs gathered to discuss the bill’s contents.

Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Fredrickson didn’t mince words, saying lawmakers quote “took a bunch of garbage and put it in a bill.”

When 22News spoke to legislators who are preparing for that debate, they said these reforms didn’t just pop up randomly, they’re long overdue.

“This is something that the community wants, and I actually think that this is something that when the community is insistent and can clearly articulate why something may be either presenting danger or protecting them, we need to listen,” Rep. Mindy Domb said.  

The house has proposed restrictions on qualified immunity, which are the protections that officers have against civil lawsuits.

The House and Senate differ on that qualified immunity piece, and they will have to reach an agreement before the end of the month if they want the bill to be signed into law.

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