Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins Friday night released a list of 136 area police officers who have been accused of misconduct, corruption, or other problematic behavior that would disrupt their credibility as witnesses in the court room.
Personnel included in the Law Enforcement Automatic Discovery, or LEAD, database span multiple jurisdictions and departments and include current and former officers in Boston, Chelsea, and Revere police, Massachusetts State Police, and MBTA Transit Police, the document shows. One IRS officer and one Special Police Officer are also included.
According to Rollins’ office, Friday’s announcement follows an expansion and revision of the database, during which names of 115 officers “whose credibility is questionable” were added within the past year.
Rollins, in a statement, said the list is a crucial component of her office’s Integrity Review Bureau.
“As members of law enforcement, we are held to a higher standard. We in law enforcement cannot adequately perform our duties if the community does not trust us or believes that we lack integrity. That does nothing to keep our communities safe; to solve crimes; and to foster, cultivate, and build mutual trust and respect between the police and the people and communities they serve,” Rollins said. “The LEAD database will help us ensure that the legal process works and people charged with crimes by our office receive all of the information they are entitled to in order to properly defend themselves. The constitution requires as much.”
Prosecutors must provide defendants evidence that can be favorable to their defense under the 1963 Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland. Maintaining a list of officers who engaged in misconduct is typical process for many prosecutors, The Boston Globe reports.
“If testimony provided by prosecution witnesses is suspect then the criminal legal system itself is suspect,” Rollins added. “All of us in law enforcement must be beyond reproach because what we do impacts matters of life, death, and freedom for the general public.”
Officers on the list include those who “work, have worked, or could work in Suffolk County,” according to Rollins’ office.
Individuals can be added to the LEAD database for a variety of reasons, including if an officer was: investigated or prosecuted for a crime; investigated based on “discriminatory or defamatory actions, language or conduct;” or investigated by an agency’s internal affairs or anti-corruption units, “casting doubt upon truthfulness or integrity,” prosecutors said.
Personnel can also be included on the list based off “a finding in any jurisdiction by a judge, an administrative agency, review board, or any oversight entity created by the legislature, federal, state, county, local or municipal elected official(s), or the like, that the individual employed by a law enforcement agency is not credible,” officials said.
“This is a living document,’’ Rollins said. “Names will be added to it, when, for example we are made aware of an investigation or any of the other entry criteria, and names can come off if an investigation exonerates someone, or an appeal is sustained.’’
The database currently contains 70 Massachusetts State Police troopers, 54 Boston Police Department members, five Transit police officers, three Revere police officers, and two Chelsea police officers.
Twenty officers on the list were convicted of crimes and another 24 were indicted. Officers may appeal their inclusion on the list to Rollins’ office.
The City of Boston, Boston police, Massachusetts State Police, and other agencies with officers named in the database did not immediately return requests for comment Saturday.
“The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers and employees in Suffolk County are dedicated and compassionate professionals who provide exemplary service to the communities they serve. The database is not voluminous, but the actions of the officers within LEAD are harmful, or potentially harmful to the community and the criminal legal system,” Rollins said. “When the credibility of law enforcement is in question, all participants in the system – and the public – should be aware of that. The people of Suffolk County deserve to know that the public officials they rely on for their safety are truly invested in it. Anything less is a betrayal of their trust and our obligation to serve.”
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