BROCKTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The ACLU of Massachusetts launched an initiative this week called "Police Violence Happens Here," in an effort to highlight local cases of police misconduct and the need for police reform.
The ACLU organized several virtual and in-person events as part of its "week of action for police reform," including the launch of an interactive map, highlighting exactly where police violence and misconduct has been reported around the Commonwealth.
The map sources a news report for each of the cases, and includes details like whether any charges were brought.
The new tool shows at least 115 reported cases of police brutality in 34 Massachusetts cities and towns over the last 10 years, and dozens of examples of documented misconduct.
"Many incidents of police misconduct are never reported; what appears on this map likely just scratches the surface of the problem," said the ACLU. "The public will be able to offer comments and suggestions to further populate the map with incidents of police violence and misconduct."
The ACLU's statewide effort to call for police reform also included individuals standing at locations statewide where incidents of police violence have occurred. On Wednesday, volunteers displayed signs that said “Police violence happens here,” calling attention to cases in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Framingham, Lynn, Quincy, and Springfield.
At the same time, ACLU of Massachusetts Racial Justice Program Director Rahsaan Hall held a press conference at Brockton City Hall to urge Massachusetts lawmakers to pass strong police reform legislation.
"What we've also noticed, and are concerned about, is the level of pushback that has come from law enforcement, through police unions, and chiefs of police associations," said Hall. "And this narrative that has been created about policing exceptionalism here in Massachusetts, as if the things that we've seen happening on the national news and in other states is somehow not happening here."
This summer, Massachusetts lawmakers responded to nationwide protests against police brutality with police reform proposals. A six-member conference committee has been working on a final compromise bill since August.
The Boston Police Union has said this is not Minneapolis, but Hall said violence happens here too.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports:
(Photo: ACLU Massachusetts)