Massachusetts police reform panel suspends 15 officers
BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts panel created in 2020 partially in response to nationwide calls for police reform following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has suspended 15 police officers from around the state who face allegations of misconduct.
The law allows the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to suspend the certification of any officer who faces felony allegations.
The officers whose suspensions were announced Tuesday include one accused of repeatedly using a stun gun on a pregnant woman during an arrest, one charged with using a baton to strike a man in custody, and another charged with getting paid for details he did not work.
A law enforcement officer whose certification is suspended can request a hearing before a commissioner within 15 days. A suspension order is in effect until a final decision or revocation is made by the commission.
“We continue to make progress to meet the directives of the statute and add information to the database that is of great public interest,” commission Executive Director Enrique Zuniga said in a statement. “POST will suspend the certification of an officer who is arrested, charged or indicted of a felony and will revoke the certification of an officer who is convicted of a felony.”
Two of the suspended officers are from Fall River, and the others are from Holyoke, Springfield, Needham, Lowell, Woburn, Somerville, West Springfield, Stoneham, Natick, Watertown, Worcester, the State Police and Fitchburg State University.
The nine-member commission was established as part of a 2020 criminal justice reform law to create a mandatory certification process for police officers, and to focus on efforts to improve public safety and increase trust between members of law enforcement and the public. Its members include law enforcement personnel, a judge, lawyer and social worker, and civilians.