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Saving Black lives and transforming public safety


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City Council

During this week’s Council meeting, the Council adopted a resolution in support of HD.5128/SD.2968, Acts Relative to Saving Black Lives and Transforming Public Safety, filed by State Representative Liz Miranda and Senator Cynthia Creem.

The Acts prohibit use of choke holds, tear gas and other chemical weapons, rubber bullets and attack dogs. Use of such tactics would result in an officer being decommissioned, fired, and prohibited from future employment as an officer in Massachusetts.

The Acts require officers to attempt to de-escalate and exhaust all alternatives before using or increasing force, and allow the use of deadly force only as a last resort if there is a real and imminent threat to an identifiable person’s life.

The Acts make clear that unreasonable use of force will result in discipline or firing in all cases; and an unreasonable use of force that causes serious bodily injury or death will result in decommissioning, firing, and disqualification from being hired by another enforcement agency in the state.

The Acts create an affirmative duty for any officer present to intervene if they observe another officer using unnecessary force.

“I do not know what it is like to be a Black person in this country; however, I do know that as an advocate I will work my hardest to fight for the rights of Bostonians regardless of the color of their skin or however much they are targeted by law enforcement. This resolution is a small piece of working towards that goal,” said Councilor Breadon, who offered the resolution.