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Massachusetts Attorney General places premium on police accountability

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, in a 2016 file photo
Joe Difazio
/
WBUR
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, in a 2016 file photo

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tells And Another Thing any allegation of police misconduct must be taken seriously. In light of a U.S. Department of Justice probe of the Springfield Police department that included more than 100,000 pages of misconduct reports, Healey discussed state prosecutors taking over the investigation of allegations that police officers assaulted four Black men outside a city bar and that other officers helped cover it up.

State prosecutors eventually brought charges against 14 people. Since the time of the interview with And Another Thing, they have dropped charges against four defendants. A judge has dismissed charges that one defense lawyer says never should have been brought against two other defendants. A jury has acquitted one police officer. Seven people are still awaiting trial.

In this encore presentation of a program originally aired in April of 2021, we also hear from Keith Neely, policy attorney with the Institute for Justice. Neely breaks down the meaning of the qualified immunity doctrine, which shields government officials such as police officers from being held personally liable for constitutional rights violations.

Guests: