Police unions are getting a “seat at the table” in a reform bill unveiled by House leaders on Sunday, but civil rights and faith leaders criticized the legislation they say falls short on much-needed reforms in policing.
“This doesn’t go far enough,” said the Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard, of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church in Lynn.
“Massachusetts police have a problem with violence and something must be done about it,” Hickman-Maynard continued, flanked by 11 other pastors from African Methodist Episcopal congregations around the state who gathered on the State House steps Monday urging House lawmakers to pass strong police reform legislation.
House leaders released their 129-page bill Sunday and it cleared the House Committee on Ways and Means without any dissent by Monday afternoon. The House bill comes on the heels of an expansive state Senate bill approved last Tuesday. Legislators are scrambling to seize onto the momentum of a national wave of protests calling for greater police accountability and pass reforms before the end of the legislative session on July 31.