A video of new Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins rebuking reporters for attempting to interview her outside of work resurfaced Wednesday after she was confirmed to be President Biden’s U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.
In the video from January 2021, Rollins accused journalists of risking the lives of her children after a reporter requested an interview near her home, video shows. The film crew, who work for Fox-affiliate Boston 25 News, asked Rollins if she would be willing to answer questions. Rollins, who became visibly upset, demanded to know how the reporters knew where she lived, to which they informed her it is a matter of public record.
“So as a Black woman, in this moment in this country, you’re going to put my f—ing house on screen?” Rollins asked the reporter. At no point in the video is Rollins’ house shown.
“No, no, no, ma’am, we’re just here approaching you to ask you a question,” the reporter replied, according to the video.
“Get away from my family. Speak to me at my job. If I get hurt or harmed because of this, you are on the record for that, or my kids are f—ing killed,” Rollins told the journalists in the parking lot near her house. “Who do you think you are? This is private property. Get out of here!”
Rollins threatened to call the police on the Boston 25 News team, saying, “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll call the police and make an allegation. And we’ll see how that works with you.”
Rollins went on to comment on the race of the female reporter before threatening to look up her identity.
“So the rantings of a White woman get you here and scare my children?” Rollins asked. “Get off our private property, and I swear to God, I’m dead serious. I will find your name.”
When the White House announced that Biden was nominating Rollins for the U.S. attorney position in Massachusetts back in July, several members of Congress praised the nomination on Twitter, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
“Suffolk County @DARollins is a national leader on transforming the criminal justice system and fighting the root causes of injustice,” Warren tweeted. “She is a great choice for US Attorney – @SenMarkey and I were proud to recommend her to the Biden administration.”
Congratulations to my sister in service, @DARollins, on her historic nomination,” Pressley tweeted. “She has fought to transform our legal system by prioritizing racial justice, decarceration & reimagining public safety in MA. @POTUS has made an excellent choice.”
Rollins also received some praise from far-left district attorneys who were backed by liberal billionaire George Soros. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin called Rollins a “GREAT choice!” and Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti said Rollins is a “brilliant lawyer and a wonderful person.”
Rollins’ nomination became controversial after a variety of GOP legislators vowed not to confirm her for the position.
“Democrats have defunded police departments, stopped prosecutions for numerous crimes, ended cash bail, and demanded early release even for violent criminals,” Sen. Tom Cotton, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in July. “These actions resulted in a historic increase in murders and contributed to the crime wave. Rachael Rollins won’t stand up for the victims of these crimes, and I will seek to stop her nomination.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has also criticized her saying she was “soft on crime advocacy” and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas called her a “lawless so-called prosecutor.”
Cotton’s statement was spurred by a policy memo Rollins released shortly after taking office in January 2019 which identified more than a dozen charges she said should be declined for prosecution entirely or recommended for diversion, such as mental health or substance abuse treatment.
On her campaign website for Suffolk County District Attorney, she included several crimes that she wouldn’t prosecute, including trespassing, drug possession, disorderly conduct, shoplifting, breaking and entering, among other crimes.
Jessica Chasmar and Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.