Union leaders push back on Senate’s police reform bill

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The point of contention here is all about qualified immunity which protects officers from civil lawsuits.

Now state senators say the bill doesn’t take that protection away completely, it simply shifts some of the power away from officers. The bill passed in the Senate around 4 a.m., which caused union leaders to raise some red flags about the bill’s content.  

If passed by the House, the bill would significantly limit the existing qualified immunity defense. However, it would also include protections that officers need to be able to continue doing their jobs.

“No one will be having their personal finances sought after, instead we tried to rebalance and to refocus on what it means to go after bad apples, something we all agree is important for our police forces,” Senator Adam Hinds said.

Union leaders also believe the bill is a direct response to some of the public outcry that’s happened over the last few months. They are hoping to see House members take public testimony before voting on the bill.

The session ends at the end of the month, so the clock is ticking to get the bill on the governor’s desk in time to be signed into law.

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