You don’t support law enforcement when you nominate people like Rollins to be a U.S. attorney. And you don’t vote to confirm people like Rollins if you support law enforcement.
Biden’s nominee for US attorney ‘is part of a movement of ‘progressive prosecutors’ who seek to eliminate racial disparities in the justice system and reject a traditional ‘tough on crime’ culture that they say has led to the disproportionate incarceration of black men.‘
Rollins campaigned on a promise to decline prosecution for some low-level crimes and had been vocal in demanding police reform even before the nationwide protests prompted by the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Theft, road rage and racism: How Biden’s new US Attorney for Massachusetts – who was filmed threatening reporters – was charged with handling stolen property, called cops ‘murderers’ and told colleague to shut up because he was ‘white man’
- Rachael Rollins was confirmed as US attorney for Massachusetts on Wednesday
- She made history as the first black woman to hold the powerful role, and was cheered by progressives
- But it has drawn new scrutiny to a variety of controversial incidents from her history
- In January she berated a news crew who confronted her over an alleged road rage incident
- Motorist claimed she impersonated police officer using blue flashing lights and threatening to issue ticket
- At age 19, she was charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor which was dismissed
- Rollins also has a history of making statements invoking race in her public remarks
- Last year she told fellow DAs she didn’t want ‘white men telling me what communities of color need’
Published: 14:50 EST, 10 December 2021 | Updated: 17:04 EST, 10 December 2021
The controversial background of the new United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts has come under scrutiny following her confirmation to the role this week.
Rachael Rollins, 50, was confirmed as top federal prosecutor for Massachusetts on Wednesday in a party-line decision, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in the evenly divided Senate.
Rollins made history as the first black woman to hold the office, responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in Boston as well as the state of Massachusetts, and has been highly praised by progressives.
But her ascension to the important role has brought renewed focus on a number of incidents from Rollins’ past, many of which emerged when she was the DA for Suffolk County.
The controversies include a misdemeanor charge when she was a teenager, a row with a police union after she claimed cops ‘murder us with impunity’, and an incident in which she publicly told fellow DAs that she didn’t ‘have much time for more white men telling me what communities of color need.’
And in a shocking video, she was seen earlier this year angrily confronting a news crew after a motorist accused her of impersonating a police officer in a road rage incident.
Rollins has previously dismissed criticisms over these controversies, often insisting that they are motivated by racism and ‘white fragility.’
In June of last year, when Rollins was Suffolk County DA, she spurred a bitter feud with a police officers’ union when she took to the podium at Boston City Hall and referred to cops as ‘murderers’.
Speaking after violent protests against police brutality, Rollins condemned attacks against police but said that she shared many of the protesters frustrations, saying cops ‘shoot us in the street as if we were animals’.
‘People are disgusted and outraged, and they should be,’ she added in her remarks, according to the Boston Globe.
‘And it is completely ironic to have to say to you, ‘Please don’t be violent. Please keep your voice down. Please be silent and comply with all of the police’s requirements,’ when in fact it’s those very people that murder us with impunity. But that’s where we are right now.’
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association responded with fury, telling Rollins in an open letter: ‘While you quickly and cavalierly label all police officers murderers, the fact is that BPD officers responded to violent attacks against them with courage and restraint.
‘Instead of slandering our officers as murderers, you should be highlighting their professionalism and dedication to our city,’ the union’s leaders said.
Rollins fired back in a tweet, saying that her remarks were not ‘anti-police’ but rather ‘anti-police brutality’ and adding ‘White fragility is real, people.’