STATE HOUSE – The special legislative task force to review and provide recommendations on policies pertaining to the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) is scheduled to meet Wednesday.

The meeting will be held virtually at Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. The meeting will include discussions of a state-by-state overview of LEOBOR statutes, a recent effort by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association to collect information on LEOBOR-involved proceedings, and a proposed draft survey from the task force

The State House remains closed to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV and televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.

The task force, led by Sen. Harold M. Metts, is to comprehensively study and provide recommendations on the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), to ensure accountability and protection against misconduct. Adopted in Rhode Island in 1976, the LEOBOR protects officers accused of misconduct, preventing them from being immediately fired or put on leave without pay, and allowing their continued employment to be decided by a panel of other police officers.

The 13-member task force includes:

·         Senator Metts

·         Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence)

·         Sen. Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich)

·         Attorney General Peter F. Neronha

·         State Police Superintendent Col. James M. Manni

·         Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements Jr.

·         Rhode Island Human Rights Commission Executive Director Michael Évora

·         NAACP Providence Branch President James Vincent

·         Anthony Capezza Jr., representing the Rhode Island AFL-CIO

·         Latino Policy Institute Director Marcela Betancur

·         Providence External Review Board Executive Director Jose F. Batista

·         Rev. Howard M. Jenkins Jr.

·         Rev. Chontell N. Washington

 

The resolution creating the task force calls for it to study protection of the rights of residents, conduct and accountability responsibilities, police relations with racial and ethnic minority communities, police management, disciplinary procedures, enhanced training for cultural competency and mental health, and diversity in all law enforcement agencies. The task force is to report to the Senate by Feb. 9, 2021.

President Trump is reportedly going in the direction of selecting Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nomination. Multiple outlets report that Trump will make that announcement tomorrow. She has been a leading contender since the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.        President Trump will be throwing a rally tonight in Virginia even after Governor Ralph Northam tested positive with coronavirus. Officials have been trying to stop it citing health risks. It'll be Trump's third campaign stop today.       Senator Kamala Harris says the recent decision in the Breonna Taylor case was a "gut punch." Harris says she has been speaking with Taylor's mother since she was killed. She added she's come to know Taylor as a caregiver.       The United States has surpassed seven-million confirmed coronavirus cases. Johns Hopkins University reports there are over 203-thousand deaths in the U.S. Thirty-two-point-three-million people have been infected around the globe.       Google is taking a different approach with election advertisements this year. A spokesperson for the company said Friday that they will block any promotions related to the November election as soon as the polls close. The temporary motion could last around a week.       California Governor Gavin Newsom is supporting a bill requiring private health insurers to cover mental health and drug addiction treatments. The new law will define what is "medically necessary". The new law will be put in place next year.