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ACLU Study Finds Racial Bias In Boston Police Tactics; Community Leaders Push Back13:04
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A New York Police Officer and resident simulate a street stop during an NYPD training. The NYPD retrained thousands of officers on how to do street stops amid a wave of criticism about the department’'s controversial stop, question and frisk policy.  (Colleen Long/AP)
A New York Police Officer and resident simulate a street stop during an NYPD training. The NYPD retrained thousands of officers on how to do street stops amid a wave of criticism about the department’'s controversial stop, question and frisk policy. (Colleen Long/AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

A new study is prompting some to question police procedures and whether they're unfairly targeting Boston's black residents.

The analysis was done by two independent researchers and the American Civil Liberties Union. They reviewed more than 200,000 of what are known as "field interrogation and observation" reports, or FIOs, which police file after they stop, question, search or simply observe someone.

According to the analysis, between 2007 and 2010, more than 60 percent of those encounters were with African-Americans — in a city that's only 24 percent black. Boston police say they're focusing on gang members and trying to make high crime neighborhoods safer. But critics say there's evidence of troubling racial bias.

Guests

Carl Williams, staff attorney at the ACLU of Massachusetts and one of the authors of the report. He tweets @carltonwilliams.

Rev. Mark Scott, associate pastor at the Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester. He has served as the associate director for outreach in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the director of the Ella J. Baker House, a faith-based settlement house in Dorchester.

More

WBUR: ACLU Finds ‘Racial Bias’ In Boston Police Encounters

  • "The racial disparities are clear in the analysis, published Wednesday, that was done by two independent researchers and the American Civil Liberties Union. They reviewed more than 200,000 of what are known as “field interrogation and observation” (FIO) reports — forms officers file after they come in contact with or observe someone."

The Boston Globe: Boston Police Put Heavy Focus On Blacks, Study Finds

  • "Commissioner William Evans defended the department, and said that officers focused on high-crime areas and individuals with gang affiliations and criminal records. He noted that the data were years old, but acknowledged the racial disparity in encounters with Boston police."

The Washington Post: New study: Only 24 Percent Of Population, Blacks In Boston Make Up 63 Percent Of Stop And Frisk Encounters

  • "Researchers found that, even after controlling for crime, stop-and-frisk encounters were more likely to occur in the city’s traditionally black neighborhoods — with more than 100,000 of the stops occurring in minority-rich neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan — than in traditionally white parts of the city."

This segment aired on October 9, 2014.

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