The Massachusetts Coalition of Police represents over 4300 police officers and public safety dispatchers across the commonwealth, including communities within the boundaries of Suffolk County. The death of George Floyd should never have happened. Any use of force beyond what is necessary to protect the public and/or officer is unacceptable and illegal.
We believe in the right to peacefully protest, but we do not believe our elected officials should be Inciting riots with non-factual and irresponsible statements. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins feels it is okay to say that police are murdering people with impunity. She is one of many elected officials using this dangerous rhetoric, who apparently do not know the definition of impunity.
Impunity is defined as exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action. The officer who was involved in the George Floyd death has been criminally charged and is currently sitting in jail awaiting trial. That is not exemption from punishment and therefore not murdering with impunity. Officers who have been involved in other unfortunate incidents involving the death of citizens have been investigated and either charged or determined that their use of force was justified under the law. To state publicly that police officers are a lawless group who go around murdering people without consequence is untrue and reckless.
Police officers across Massachusetts have worked extremely hard to address issues of inequality and work every day to build trust in our communities. Our management has worked hard to provide training to prevent these types of situations. DA Rollins acknowledged in her statement that she appreciates the efforts of management to do so, but then goes on to say that management is not the rank and file who go out and interact with the overwhelmingly poor In our black and brown communities. Her insinuation of the rank and file officers across the commonwealth as systematically racist, while management is respectable, is confusing and disturbing. Her attempts at creating division of not only between law enforcement and the community, but between management and rank and file Is troubling.
We all continue working to serve the communities we have been sworn to protect. We accomplish this by working together with all members of our communities. The irony of DA Rollins’ statement is that she seems to be interested in creating division that will only be harmful to our communities. Her view of people’s perceived compliance with requests not to be violent as irony, are inherently inciteful. Is it to be believed that she is interested in prosecuting people who have become violent by burning and looting our communities when she sees a request to refrain from such activity as irony?
No one is above the law and those that commit illegal acts should be held accountable. That goes for law enforcement as well, pure and simple. We do the best job we can with the sometimes-limited resources made available. We will continue to work collaboratively with our communities to keep them safe. We will continue to make Massachusetts a great place to live and work, but we cannot stand idly by when an elected official, who is supposed to be the top law enforcement official in Suffolk County, spews inconsistent and dangerous rhetoric to the public. It is not only dangerous to the men and women who protect you every day, but to the law-abiding people of our community.
First Vice President