BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a sweeping police reform bill on Friday, by a vote of 93 to 66. Every Republic representative voted against the bill, as did dozens of Democrats.
Unlike the Senate version, the House-approved bill would not limit qualified immunity, but it would strip decertified officers of protections against civil prosecution. It also bans chokeholds, and it restricts but does not eliminate “no-knock” warrants.
The House bill would also create a law enforcement certification program, and it would limit the use of tear gas.
The ACLU of Massachusetts said the bill does not reflect the fierce urgency demanded by deadly police violence against Black people.
So far, there has been no comment from the state police chiefs' association, which strongly opposed the Senate version of the bill.
The Massachusetts Municipal Police coalition said there hasn’t been enough research and discussion on public safety, and it’s relationship to racial equality in the state.
The coalition also said if the bill is signed by Gov. Baker, a large number of officers across the state will retire.
The House bill will now head to a conference committee, where the House and Senate will iron out the differences in the bills ahead of the end of the formal session on Friday.
WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville reports:
(Photo: WBZ NewsRadio)