Ever since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, there has been a call around the nation for police reform. Many even called for the de-funding of police departments. The incident led to Black Lives Matter rallies and protests all across the country. This is something that Massachusetts officials took very seriously, and now they have a law in place that will hold police accountable for their actions.

Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined legislators and public safety officials to participate in a ceremonial signing of S.2963, An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth.

Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were also joined by Senate President Karen Spilka, Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano, Senator William Brownsberger, Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, Representative Claire Cronin, Representative Russell Holmes, Representative Chynah Tyler, MA Chiefs of Police Association President Ed Dunne, and former MA Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers President Larry Ellison to participate in the ceremonial signing.

The legislation will create a mandatory certification process for police officers, increases accountability and transparency in law enforcement and gives police departments a greater ability to hire or promote only qualified applicants. The new law also identifies the general circumstances under which police officers can use physical force, and places strict limits on the use of so-called ‘no-knock warrants.’ In addition, the legislation requires law enforcement to seek a court order when conducting a facial recognition search except in emergency situations.

Click here to learn more about the new law.

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KEEP READING: See changes enacted since George Floyd’s death