Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus 10 Point Plan
Our Caucus is dedicated to fighting systemic racism and barriers that continue to exist within the Commonwealth. Our Caucus meets regularly with the Governor, Speaker of the House, and the Senate President to discuss the issues people of color continue to face in our communities. Recently, our caucus has developed an action plan, composed of direct steps that can be taken at all levels of government to reform our institutions.
Improve oversight and independent investigations to hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable.
Department of Justice must reassert its statutory authority to investigate individual instances of racial profiling, police brutality and violence and investigate and litigate individual law enforcement officers and police departments routinely violating civil rights.
Adopt sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government that reduce the disparate impact of police brutality, racial profiling and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities.
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST): Resolve to provide for a “Special Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training” to study and make recommendations concerning the implementation of a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) system, H2146 Reps Holmes and Vieira; Reported favorably now with Rules Committee; Establishes a statewide POST system to certify police officers and enable de-certification for misconduct and abuse.
Civil Service Exam Review and Oversight: An Act to Reform Civil Service Exams, H2292 Rep Holmes; Currently sent to study, but could be added to Outside Section of the Budget; Establishes an Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to establish guidelines and review for diversity plans for all state agencies, Establishes a peace officer exam advisory board to review examinations for appointment and promotion of peace officers.
Commission on Structural Racism: An Act establishing a special commission on structural racism, H1440, Holmes; Currently sent to study, but could be added to Outside Section of the Budget; Establishes a commission to study how the systemic presence of institutional racism has created a culture of structural racial inequality which has exacerbated disproportionate minority contact with the criminal justice system in Massachusetts.
Adopt clear statutory limits on police use of force, including choke-holds and other tactics known to have deadly consequences. Require independent investigation of officer-related deaths. Require data collection and reporting on race, regarding all arrests and police use of force by every department. In drafting; to be filed by Rep. Liz Miranda soon.
Create a Civil Review Board/Commission with subpoena power to investigate allegations of law enforcement wrongdoing.