YWCA Senate Bill 2800 Statement

In the nighttime hours of May 25, the world watched as George Floyd was lynched by Minneapolis police. This act of police brutality and murder reverberated around the country, and the following morning communities, businesses, organizations, and elected officials rose up to declare that Black Lives Matter. Saying these words matters and we join with those in our community who make this declaration. And while these words matter, action matters more.

The YWCA Central Massachusetts stands with the Massachusetts Senate in support of Senate bill 2800 An Act to Reform Police Standards and Shift Resources to Build a More Equitable, Fair and Just Commonwealth that Values Black Lives and Communities of Color. Specifically, we support the following sections in the Senate version of the bill and encourage the House to adopt similar measures:

  1. Justice Reinvestment: Include justice reinvestment provisions to reduce the reliance on force and punishment and reinvest in de-escalation strategies, as well as community based supports and services.
  2. Use of Force: Develop strong use of force standards, which include complete bans on the most violent policing methods.
  3.  Qualified Immunity Changes: Hold police accountable when they employ violent tactics by setting strict limits on qualified immunity.
  4. Expungement: Expunge juvenile records to give our youth the opportunity to access jobs and a stronger future.
  5. Banning Facial Recognition: Ban the use of facial recognition technology that promotes racial bias and perpetuates discriminatory practices.

Lastly, we encourage the House of Representatives to continue to take the lead from your colleagues in the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus on additional measures.

We stand ready to work with you on implementing these initiatives.

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Bothem Jean, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Stephon Clark, Alton Sterling, Aiyana Jones, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Corey Jones, John Crawford, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Tony McDade, Layleen Polanco, Riah Milton, Dominique Fells .

We say their names because their lives matter. Because Black Lives Matter. We must take the action necessary to protect Black lives. This legislation is a step to ensuring we do so.

To join us in calling on your legislator to support this effort, please visit this link: https://malegislature.gov/Legislators/Members/House

YWCA Central Massachusetts is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen our community. YWCA Central Massachusetts is part of an international movement serving over 2 million in the United States and 25 million worldwide. For comprehensive information about this important work, go to: www.ywcacm.org and www.ywca.org.

Sophie Cannon
Marketing & Resource Development Associate
E scannon@ywcacm.org