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Boston's movement to end racism

We are embracing the opportunity this moment and movement offer us to produce lasting, systemic change and to eliminate all the ways that racism and inequality harm our residents.

We stand with our Black community and communities of color to lead the change toward a more just and equitable society. With these actions, we will increase equity in public safety and public health, and launch a conversation that can produce lasting, systemic change to eliminate all the ways that racism and inequality harm our residents. -  Mayor Walsh

Have questions? Contact:

Mayor's Office

Mayor Walsh has pledged to:

Support the Mayor’s Pledge issued by the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which commits to the following actions:

  • Review police use of force policies
  • Engage communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences and stories
  • Report review findings to the community and seek feedback
  • Reform police use of force policies

Support the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus’ “10 Point Plan” which outlines a series of reforms at the federal, state, and municipal level.

Commit his full support of body cameras being worn by officers during all shifts, including overtime, and Boston Police are actively working toward that goal.  Less than a year after implementing a body worn camera program at the Boston Police Department, more than 1,000 officers have been trained and equipped with body cameras across districts, including the bike unit and other specialized units.

Mayor Walsh has acted to:

Declare racism a public health crisis and commit to eight strategies that are focused on addressing the impact that racism has on the lives of residents and their overall health. The Boston Public Health Commission will release a plan within 120 days with specific actions and a yearly report measuring progress starting in 2021.

Reallocate 20% of the Boston Police overtime budget to make investments in equity and inclusion, including:

  • $3 million to implement changes needed as part of declaring racism a public health crisis
  • $1 million to support trauma teams and counseling services at BPHC
  • $2 million for community based programs and support, such as violence intervention grants, youth programming, language and food access, immigrant advancement, the Age Strong Commision and the Human Rights Commission
  • $2 million for additional BEST Clinicians and mental health supports at the Boston Police Department
  • $2 million for initiatives to support minority and women-owned businesses
  • $2 million for additional housing supports and youth homelessness programs

Create a new Task Force, a nine-person group chaired by former U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Wayne Budd, to translate these commitments to immediate action, including:

  • Reviewing Boston Police’s use of force policies
  • Recommending rigorous implicit bias training for officers
  • Improving the body camera program
  • Strengthening the existing Co-op board

Note: The Task Force will produce recommendations in 60 days, followed by a period of community input on those recommendations. Reforms that will be implemented as a result of the Task Force and community input will be announced within 90 days of the Task Force starting their work. Members of the Task Force, in addition to former U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Wayne Budd, include: 

  • Allison S. Cartwright, Attorney in Charge, Roxbury Public Defender's Office
  • Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
  • Tanisha Sullivan, President, NAACP Boston Branch
  • Darrin Howell, President, DRIVE Boston Community Resources Inc. & Political Coordinator, 1199SEIU
  • Superintendent Dennis White, Chief of Staff, Boston Police Department
  • Marie St. Fleur, former MA State Representative, Boston
  • Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Associate Pastor, Historic Twelfth Baptist Church, Roxbury
  • Eddy Chrispin, Sergeant, Boston Police Department and President, MA Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.
  • Javier Flores, Boston resident
  • Jamarhl Crawford, Boston resident

Led by Police Commissioner William Gross, completed a review with the Boston Police Department of police’s use of force policies outlined in the “8 Can’t Wait” effort, resulting in clarified rules and the implementation of several reforms

The Boston Police Department will no longer use the hair test for evidence of drug use in officers or recruits, a decision that's been made in partnership with the police unions.