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Hi there!

Thanks for reading A Better Boston's inaugural newsletter. This week we're tackling Governor Charlie Baker's refusal to sign a much-needed police reform bill. 


What’s Happening? After months of negotiations, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed a long-awaited police reform bill, but Governor Charlie. Baker refused to sign it. Instead, he sent the bill, and a list of amendments, back to the legislature. 


What’s in the bill? 

The bill would...

  • Create a civilian-led Peace Officer Standards and Training committee (POST) with subpoena power and the authority to grant and revoke police officer certifications. 
  • Require all MA police officers to be certified. This gives POST much-needed oversight, as it can effectively “fire” bad officers by revoking their certification.

  • Ban facial recognition technology, which has been proven to be racially biased.


What does Gov. Baker want to change? 

  • Baker wants to remove the ban on facial recognition technology.  
  • Baker opposes giving the civilian-led POST committee authority over police training, which is crucial to changing police culture.
  • Baker wants to prevent POST from investigating police misconduct until after the police have investigated internally. This would reduce, if not nullify POST’s ability to hold police officers accountable. 

Boston-Police-Unit-e1599100737514Why does this matter? 

Police behavior has eroded the public's trust in law enforcement. Civilian oversight, such as the POST Committee, is needed to reaffirm the relationship between the public and those who police us. 

Gov. Baker’s amendments turn much-needed legislation into a reinforcement of the status quo. They should be rejected.


How you can help:

Join Representative Ayanna Pressley, D.A. Rollins, City Council President Janey, and other community leaders imploring legislators to reject the amendments and demand Gov. Baker sign the bill without amendments.


Learn More: 

Pressley, Rollins, other Mass. leaders of color condemn Baker’s amendments to police reform bill (Boston Globe)


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We appreciate your help,

A Better Boston team


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