Policing

Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights prevents Mayor and Commissioner from speaking on officer who beat and spit on juvenile

“Obviously the LEOBoR restricts us from publicly commenting on any particular case,” continued the Commissioner. “If any officer is facing more than two days suspension, we are restricted from publicly talking about it…”
Photo for Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights prevents Mayor and Commissioner from speaking on officer who beat and spit on juvenile

Published on March 31, 2022
By Steve Ahlquist

Due to the constraints of the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEOBoR), both Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré declined to speak, except in generalities, about Attorney General Peter Neronha‘s failure to secure an indictment against Providence Police Officer Domingo Diaz, who beat and spit on a juvenile in custody.

Shortly after an incident in which three juveniles allegedly led police on a 40 minute high speed chase through multiple municipalities and were apprehended in Providence, Commissioner Paré characterized the behavior of two of the officers, as seen on police body cam footage, as “appalling” and “excessive.”

Answering questions on the Attorney General’s press release at an unrelated press conference, Commissioner Paré said, “We just got the report yesterday from the Attorney General’s office, we’re going to continue to review and then administratively look to see what sanctions and what policy violations may have occurred. And then we’ll proceed from there.”

Watch the full video of Commissioner Paré and Mayor Elorza’s comments here:

“Obviously the LEOBoR restricts us from publicly commenting on any particular case,” continued the Commissioner. “If any officer is facing more than two days suspension, we are restricted from publicly talking about it.

“Officer Diaz is on military leave and isn’t coming back until November of this year. So nothing can happen until he returns [and then] we’ll review all the material that we have and make determinations [as to] what, if anything, to hold officer or officers accountable.”

Mayor Elorza echoed the commissioner’s words and added nothing more of substance.

There are bills before the Rhode Island Senate and House to repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights. Other legislation that simply modifies LEOBoR does not go far enough to ensure police accountability and public safety, say activist groups such as the Black Lives Matter RI PAC and Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE).

More on efforts to repeal LEOBoR here: BLM RI PAC rallies against LEOBoR in the wake of police videos showing violent arrests

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