Officers Responds to Bill Meant to Revise Law Enforcement Bill of Rights

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Several leaders in the law enforcement community testified against one bill in particular this evening on Smith Hill.

That bill, S2718, looks to expand hearing boards that are meant to handle internal issues and investigations within departments. The bill also seeks less police presence on these boards, and an increased external evaluation.

Sen. Ana Quezada, the sponsor of the bill, began the hearing by saying she is concerned that officers would be able to defend their own unjustly. She said that is the purpose for this bill.

John Rossi, representative from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, echoed the same message of other officers Tuesday.

Rossi explained, “Officers should have due process, and they should be insulated from, ‘well, he’s a friend of the mayor, so he’s not going to enforce the law.’ He continued, “I think the misconception is, ‘my colleague here has done something wrong. I’m going to cover up for him.’”

“There’s no toleration for that,” concluded Rossi.

Rossi and others said they need to maintain the same amount of law enforcement on these boards.

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