Boston police officers disproportionately observed, interrogated, or searched black residents from 2007 to 2010, says a study commissioned by the department and reported by the Boston Globe. “This study shows evidence not just of racial disparity, but of racial bias,” said Matthew Segal of the American Civil Liberties Union, which collaborated with the Boston Police Department on the genesis of the study. “That is really alarming.”
Police 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. Evans said the department has since overhauled its procedures for stopping residents and has instituted new racial profiling and bias training. Overall, he said, the report shows the work of a police department focused on violence, not race.