A Massachusetts state bill that would allow judges to sentence cop killers to death is designed to send a “clear message that we are not going to tolerate this,” a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Shaunna O’Connell, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told ‘Fox & Friends’ that the measure was introduced following the murders of three officers in Massachusetts over the last 26 months. It would allow the death penalty as a sentencing option for adults over the age of 18 who have been found guilty of killing an officer.
“We need to send a clear message that we are not going to tolerate this,” she said. “We are going to protect our law enforcement officers and we are going to have some law and order in our communities.”
Sgt. Michael Chesna – a U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient who worked with the Weymouth Police Department – was shot and killed in July 2018 with his own revolver, officials say, during an encounter with a suspect.
Sgt. Sean Gannon of the Yarmouth Police Department, whom O’Connell described as a “great person who you would want to call your son,” was shot and killed three months earlier while serving a search warrant.
And in May 2016, Ronald Tarentino, an Auburn Police Department officer, was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop.
O’Connell, a Republican, said that a dozen law enforcement associations -- comprising of “thousands of thousands” of officers – have signed on in support of the bill.
“We are just going to deluge the statehouse with support for this bill,” she said. “They really need to take it seriously and they need to act on it.”