"Complete Assault on The People Paid to Protect The Citizens"

Published by Chris Wangler - August 6, 2020.

Waltham police officer Scott Hovsepian, the head of a large Massachusetts police union, criticized Massachusetts police reform legislation during a meeting with President Trump at the White House last week [see video link below].

Reform bills already passed by the Massachusetts house and senate would bring sweeping changes to law enforcement in Massachusetts.

“They want to file bills so that we will not be able to put our hands on someone unless we’re arresting them,” Hovsepian told the president on July 31.

He said if officers laid hands on intoxicated persons or those with mental health problems to assist them, they could be sued under the proposed legislation.

He also said the bills would limit the use of K-9s and tear gas.

Officer Hovsepian was at the White House with other police union leaders from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which has endorsed President Trump’s bid for re-election.

Hovsepian is the treasurer of NAPO and the president of MassCOP, the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, which represents 4,300 law enforcement officers in more than 150 Bay State communities.

“So you’re having a hard time in Massachusetts?” Trump asked him.

“Yes Mr. President,” replied Hovsepian. “We’re working hard. The unions are sticking together. Hopefully we can curb some of this.”

He told the president that the police reform bills have not yet been signed by Governor Charlie Baker.

MassCOP supports some proposed reforms, but opposes changes to qualified immunity, a special legal protection for police.

The practice has come under nationwide scrutiny amid outcry over incidents of police brutality that often result in no punishment for accused officers protected by powerful police unions.

Hovsepian has said that making it easier to sue police officers would have many negative consequences for policing and the judicial system.

Watch WPD Officer Scott Hovsepian talk with the president:

Video screengrabs: The White House / wh.gov