DA Elect Rachael Rollins continues to take heat from law enforcement lobby

National Police Association files bar complaint against her law license

Suffolk County District Attorney Elect, Rachael Rollins has pissed off a lot of cops groups A.K.A. the law enforcement lobby and she hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

In September, Rollins running on a campaign platform of not prosecuting a list of petty crimes defeated cop-endorsed, Greg Henning in the democratic primary for the office of District Attorney. Henning lost despite receiving hundreds of campaign contributions from local law enforcement officers who are currently employed with the Boston Police, the Massachusetts State Police and other local police agencies. Henning also not surprisingly received the majority of endorsements from law enforcement organizations.

In the general election, Rollins faced cannabis attorney, Michael Maloney. The law enforcement side, disliked Rollins so much that many of them for the first time supported the pro-cannabis candidate, Maloney. But once again, Rollins defeated them to become Suffolk County D.A. Elect.

Police groups are still claiming to be upset about the Rollins list of petty crimes she plans not to prosecute.

From the Boston Globe,

The list “is not a blanket commitment,” Rollins said. “It’s about memorializing what is already happening in the majority of cases.”

Many of the crimes on the list, including trespassing, shoplifting, and drug possession, typically lead to probation, rather than jail time, even if a defendant is charged multiple times, prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. Under Rollins’s plan, the offenses would be treated as civil infractions or dismissed outright.

Zachary Lown, a criminal defense attorney who practices in Roxbury and Dorchester, said prosecutors in those courts already move to divert those charged with drug possession and petty crimes into treatment or alternative programs.

If recently departed, law enforcement backed, District Attorney Dan Conley was already not prosecuting many of these “cases” why is it a big deal when Rollins considers doing it in a more transparent way? Is the crime here that she disclosed her policy to the general public?

Or perhaps it’s that the law enforcement lobby lost this D.A. election in Suffolk County and that just hasn’t happened before?

This week, the National Police Association an out of state 501c3 non-profit based out of Indiana filed a law license, bar complaint against Rollins,  “alleging the Boston lawyer violated ethics rules when she campaigned for District Attorney representing to the public that Rollins, regardless of what laws were in place and regardless of the rule of law itself, would affirmatively enact policy changes that directly, adversely and will foreseeably impact the safety and well-being of those that she is soon charged to represent in her official capacity as District Attorney.”

From the NPA website, “The National Police Association is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, EIN 82-0647764, founded to educate supporters of law enforcement in how to help police departments accomplish their goals. The National Police Association is supported solely through the generous contributions of individuals and organizations. Donations are tax deductible.”

Which means by tax code law, NPA aren’t supposed to engage in politics.

More from the NPA website,

“We use the law as a method to highlight abuses by antipolice elected officials, change behavior, and seek corrective action. In addition, we promote policies that encourage public officials to work with police in the public interest, not for the benefit of powerful special interests.”

Sounds a lot like politics and less like education? Yes.

And isn’t law enforcement a powerful special interest? Especially in Massachusetts? Yes they are.

But hey who needs to follow rules, laws or even logic when you are part of the law enforcement lobby continuing a campaign that you just lost?

The National Police Association did not return my request for comment. I’m guessing they won’t be filing a bar complaint against Conley for not prosecuting many of the same petty crimes. Because the law enforcement lobby backed Conley after all.