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Mass. House Passes Police Reform Bill

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed its version of the police accountability bill late Friday night on a vote of 93 in favor to 66 against.

House lawmakers have been deliberating since Wednesday, following Senate passage of its version last week.

Both bills require law enforcement officials to intervene and report instances when other officers use excessive force.

Both also bar police from using crowd-control measures like tear gas, rubber pellets and dogs, except under certain life-threatening situations. They also both seek to establish a statewide system to certify and decertify officers.

But while the Senate version sharply curtails the state's qualified immunity law that shields officers from personal liability for misconduct, the House legislation keeps the controversial statute largely intact.

READ: Mass. Police Chiefs Criticize 'Knee Jerk Reaction' Police Reform Bill

"Change is never easy, but with this vote, the House of Representatives acts to ensure fairness and equality," House Speaker Robert DeLeo said in a statement.

House and Senate leaders will now need to reconcile the bills before they recess July 31.

Police chiefs have panned the proposals as knee-jerk responses to the nationwide demonstrations calling for racial justice and police reform following the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

They say the proposals won't make the state safer and were crafted without input from police.

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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