massachusetts supreme court rules black men have legitimate reason to flee police

September 23, 2016

We need not remind the AFROPUNK community of the police brutality running rampant in our cities and on our timelines. But in a striking turn of events, Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that because of Boston Police Department’s continued relationship with its Black citizens, that Black men in particular “might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.” The court pointed to statistics in a recent BPD report that revealed that, to no one’s surprise, “black men n[…] were more likely to be targeted for police-civilian encounters such as stops, frisks, searches, observations and interrogations.” The case at hand was that of Jimmy Warren’s, a Black Bostonian falsely convicted for a gun charge, after he was apprehended without sufficient reasonable suspicion. His conviction has since been overturned and the “right to flee” is now being argued at length because of the outcome of this case. Matthew Segal, the legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts said that “this is a potentially huge decision. “The Black Lives Matter movement can change the law in this country, if more courts follow the lead of the Supreme Judicial Court and look at the reasonableness standard from the perspective of the civilian.” So to all those involved in the movement, be encouraged. Your impact is being felt.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor