Category Archives: police

Local demands for police accountability aren’t going away

Demands for police accountability aren’t going away in SouthCoast, Massachusetts, no matter what some officials think. In the absence of progress on police accountability in a legislature with a Democratic supermajority, residents have been attempting to address police abuse at the local level. But at every step of the way they have been thwarted and… Read More »

Backroom deal-making in City Council

There’s considerable context to New Bedford City Council‘s decision to offer up a “Blue Lives” resolution at precisely the moment that City residents needed reassurances that Black Lives really do matter. On May 25, 2020 George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer triggered protests all over the country. In New Bedford,… Read More »

King County WA slaps controls on sheriff

Voters in King County, Washington just amended their county charter. Charter for Justice had endorsed the 7 amendments and all passed. Of note were three amendments to the charter that pertain to sheriffs and a fourth that applies to all law enforcement officers in the County. According to the Seattle Times, the Charter Review Commission… Read More »

27 Seconds

The Gracia family’s lawyer, Don Brisson, finished a series of presentations last week on Malcolm’s murder. Brisson spent considerable time discussing inconsistencies in detectives’ testimony and forensic evidence collected at the crime scene. Among the more shocking pieces of evidence Brisson released were videos that had been withheld from the public until December 2018. Three… Read More »

Final push to pass police accountability bill

I am forwarding a message from Ending Mass Incarceration Together. Sent: Monday, September 28, 2020 8:31 AM To: Subject: A phone call to your legislators is crucial for reforming police practices in Massachusetts Dear Participants in Ending Mass Incarceration Together, I urge you to call your State Representative, your State Senator, Speaker DeLeo, and… Read More »

School Resource Officers harm kids, do little to avert mass shootings

Let’s look at the science for a change Police in schools are not a new phenomenon. Apparently the first school police were used in the Fifties in Flint, Michigan. In the 1990’s the Clinton administration created the COPS program which expanded and militarized the police, deepened mass incarceration, and put police in schools to wreak… Read More »

Years after Malcolm Gracia’s murder, questions remain

Introduction On May 17, 2012 15 year-old Malcolm Gracia was shot by New Bedford police. The circumstances of the killing are something that today would receive a more thorough investigation than the Gracia family got in 2012. Following a $500K settlement for the unconstitutional stop that triggered Gracia’s murder, police and DA reports which exculpated… Read More »

New Bedford Commission on Police Use of Force Policies Report

The New Bedford Commission on Police Use of Force Policies just issued its four-and-a-half page 60-day findings. Aside from three pages of bureaucratic blather about its mandate and a rather defensive section on its compliance with Open Meeting laws, the report was short on both analysis and prescription. The only real substance to be found… Read More »

George Floyd’s killing happens right here too

Police Accountability legislation, which was expected to die in the Massachusetts legislature this Summer, has been given a surprising reprieve. In the wake of George Floyd’s asphyxiation murder by a Minneapolis cop, while three others stood around watching Floyd die, the Massachusetts House has been unable to pursue its usual tactics of deep-sixing progressive legislation.… Read More »