Amid use-of-force probe in Providence, activists urge lawmakers to repeal LEOBOR


PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) ─ Activists are renewing their call for the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) to be repealed after Providence police released body camera video that shows officers punching and spitting at teenage suspects during an arrest.

The Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee (BLM PAC) held a demonstration outside the Providence Public Safety Complex Friday evening to voice their concerns about the footage.

Harrison Tuttle, executive director for BLM PAC, said the incident is yet another reason why changes need to be made locally.

“It’s really important that, in a state in which we have limits on holding police officers accountable, we’re able to still hold police officers accountable,” Tuttle said. “We’re the only New England state that has [LEOBOR] right now.”

“We continue to see instances this summer where police are under investigation for misconduct, so we want to be able to hold them accountable and we need to repeal LEOBOR,” he continued, referencing another incident in which a crowd of residents were pepper sprayed.

Lawmakers couldn’t come to a consensus last session on reforming LEOBOR, but the R.I. General Assembly has expressed interesting continuing to pursue it come fall.

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