Police Group Accuses Suffolk DA-Elect of 'Reckless Disregard' for Massachusetts Laws - NBC10 Boston

Police Group Accuses Suffolk DA-Elect of 'Reckless Disregard' for Massachusetts Laws

Suffolk DA-elect Rachael Rollins ran on a platform saying she would decline to prosecute many non-violent property crimes

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    1-on-1 With Suffolk DA Candidate Rachael Rollins

    Rachael Rollins, running for district attorney in Suffolk County, joins Sue O'Connell as part of a series of interviews with the field of candidates.

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018)

    A national police organization has filed a bar complaint against Suffolk District Attorney-elect Rachael Rollins, accusing the incoming district attorney of having "reckless disregard for the laws" of Massachusetts.

    The complaint, filed by the Indiana-based nonprofit National Police Association, accuses Rollins of breaking Massachusetts Bar Association rules for enforcing laws passed by the state Legislature and putting law enforcement officers at risk.

    Rollins, who won in November on a platform that promised to prosecute crime "differently," has stated in the past that she would decline to prosecute many non-violent property crimes, which she argued are "crimes of desperation" with roots in mental health, addiction and economic inequality.

    "By openly declaring that certain laws will not be prosecuted if violated, Rollins has incited, and in-effect [sic] authorized certain illegal conduct that runs contrary to law," Ed Hutchinson, president of the National Police Association, wrote in the complaint addressed to Constance Vecchione of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

    He added that if the bar ignores these concerns, then "the greatest suffering to be endured" is by law enforcement, who could "jeopardize their own professional and personal livelihoods by adhering to Rollins' policies."

    Requests for comment from the Massachusetts Bar Association and the National Police Association were not immediately returned.

    A request for comment from Rollins was also not immediately returned, but the incoming district attorney told The Boston Globe that change is "never easy, but it's always required for growth, and I'm excited about the process."

    Rollins will assume office on Jan. 1, becoming Suffolk County's first female district attorney and the first woman of color to hold a district attorney role in Massachusetts.

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