Task force holding first meeting to review Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – A 13-member legislative task force will meet for the first time Wednesday to review and make recommendations for Rhode Island’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.

The law that dates back to 1976 protects officers accused of misconduct, preventing them from being immediately fired or put on leave without pay.

The law has been widely criticized by many who believe it prevents justice from being served when officers are abusive and it has come under scrutiny lately for its policies following national outrage on the subject.

One major part of the law that’s under review is the hearing board process when officers are accused of misconduct. It’s a board made up of current or retired police officers, judging other police officers.

The task force will select a chairperson and review the policies and make recommendations that will be delivered in a report to the Senate in February of 2021.

Senator Harold Metts is leading the task force, that also includes representatives from law enforcement and community leaders.

The 13-member task force includes:

  • Sen. Harold Metts
  • Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence)
  • Sen. Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich)
  • Attorney General Peter F. Neronha
  • State Police Superintendent Col. James M. Manni
  • Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements Jr.
  • Rhode Island Human Rights Commission Executive Director Michael Évora
  • NAACP Providence Branch President James Vincent
  • Anthony Capezza Jr., representing the Rhode Island AFL-CIO
  • Latino Policy Institute Director Marcela Betancur
  • Providence External Review Board Executive Director Jose F. Batista
  • Rev. Howard M. Jenkins Jr.
  • Rev. Chontell N. Washington

The meeting is closed to the public but will be streamed on Capitol TV.

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Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island