The Massachusetts state legislature will hold a hearing Thursday on a bill that would prohibit police officers from using inappropriate language.
Under this bill, a law enforcement officer who uses racial slurs, name-calling, or profanity toward someone else in the line of duty could be dismissed. This is not the first time Rep. Ben Swan of Springfield has tried to pass a bill like this. Swan says derogatory language from police officers can spark violent incidents.
“Most confrontations start with language use, and usually is intentional to express hostility. And that’s not the role for a sworn officer,” Swan says.
Swan says police departments across the state should already be punishing officers for using derogatory language.
A spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department, Sgt. John Delaney, says the proposal is a waste of time for the legislature.
“I’ve been part of thousands and thousands of arrests,” says Delaney. “And not one of them has been caused by a police officer using colorful language.”
The bill is scheduled for a hearing in Boston on Thursday (10/3/2013) at 10:00 a. m.
This story was reported and written by David Chang.