Boston's movement to end racism
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
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 Police Reform Task Force, an 11-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
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.
On January 4, within 90-days of receiving the Task Force's recommendations, Mayor Walsh signed an ordinance establishing the new Office of Police Accountability and Transparency. The ordinance also codifies the Civilian Review Board and Internal Affairs Oversight Panel, which were previously enacted through executive orders in November.