One of the most salient features of police reform in Massachusetts is a newly codified “duty to intervene.” See Chapter 53 of the
Acts of 2020. Under 6E, § 15, officers who witness obviously excessive force must physically intervene and attempt to stop it.
They also must verbally report the incident to their immediate supervisor before the end of their shift. Failing to comply with this
mandate will be a significant source of municipal liability. 555 CMR 6.01.
There is good news, however. Massachusetts and MIIA do not need to reinvent the wheel! A groundbreaking program in the New
Orleans Police Department entitled EPIC helped to transform the police culture in that agency and significantly lowered the number of claims against officers and supervisors for excessive force.1,2