BOSTON (CBS) – Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins sat down with WBZ-TV’s Liam Martin for a wide-ranging conversation about criminal justice issues in the Boston area. She also responded to criticism stemming from her decision not to prosecute some counterprotesters of the “straight pride” parade in the city on Labor Day weekend.
The state’s highest court sided with Rollins, saying a judge had no authority to force her office to prosecute one of the counterprotesters.
“The individuals that assaulted our law enforcement officers were held accountable. They were arraigned and they were charged,” Rollins said in the interview that aired Monday night. “If they were not violent or if the police reports were not complete enough for us to sustain the charges, then I’m never going to prosecute those cases.”
Rollins was then asked how she’d respond to police officers who argue it’s pointless to enforce laws if she’s not going to prosecute.
“Then what is my job? Is it that everyone you arrest, I have to prosecute? Am I a rubber stamp for the police?” Rollins said. “The police aren’t elected, remember that.”
She went on to say that judges and police use their discretion in dealing with the public every day, and this was a case of Rollins using hers.
“Police officers and judges, neither of whom are elected, love questioning my ability to use my prosecutorial discretion,” Rollins said. “And I’m elected. The people of Suffolk County overwhelmingly supported what it is I’m saying that I’m doing. None of these people that have questions about what I’m doing were elected.”
Rollins won election with 80% of the vote in 2018.
In the video above, Rollins also discusses bringing involuntary manslaughter charges against a Boston College student accused of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself, solutions to the opioid crisis and a guilty conviction in a 2016 South End trench collapse.