On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court released a ruling that says there is good reason for a black male in Boston to flee from the police. In running away from a police officer, a black man may be attempting to "avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled," according to the ruling.
The SJC reviewed the appeal of a gun conviction of Jimmy Warren, a black man convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm in 2011, and decided to throw out the case on the grounds that police officers did not have enough information to stop Warren in the first place, and that the fact he ran from the police should not be used against him.
The decision cited a report released by the ACLU of Massachusetts that showed black men made up 63 percent of police-civilian encounters, even though they made up just 24 percent of Boston’s population.
Daniel Linskey is a managing director in Kroll Investigations and Disputes practice, based in the Boston office. He is the former superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department and a 27-year veteran of the force. He tweets @ChiefLinskey.
Mariama White-Hammond is the former executive director of Project HIP-HOP, Highways Into the Past—History, Organizing, and Power. She is a minister at the Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain and an activist and organizer. She tweets @mariamawh.
This segment aired on September 21, 2016.
- Mass. High Court Says Black Men May Have Legitimate Reason To Flee Police
- Retired Judge: Ruling To 'Contribute Substantially' To Debate Over Police Encounters With Black Men
- Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling: Commonwealth vs. Jimmy Warre
- Black, Brown and Targeted: A Report on Boston Police Department Street Encounters from 2007–2010