Quantcast
Connect with us

Massachusetts court finds that it’s ‘reasonable’ for black men to run from police to avoid racial profiling

Published

on

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that it’s entirely reasonable for black men to run from police to “avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled.”

The court tossed out a Boston man’s gun conviction Tuesday after reviewing studies by the American Civil Liberties Union and the city’s police department that showed black men were far more likely to be stopped and frisked between 2007 and 2010, reported WBUR-FM.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jimmy Warren was arrested Dec. 18, 2011, while police were investigating a burglary in the Roxbury neighborhood.

Officers were given a vague description of three black suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts, and they approached Warren and another black man in dark clothing.

The pair fled as officers approached, and Warren was later arrested and searched.

Police didn’t find any illegal items on him, but they found an unlicensed .22-caliber handgun in a nearby yard and charged Warren with unlawful possession of a firearm.

He was later convicted on the weapons charge, but the Supreme Court overturned that conviction after finding that police had no right to stop Warren based on the “vague” and “ubiquitous” description provided by dispatchers.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Lacking any information about facial features, hairstyles, skin tone, height, weight, or other physical characteristics, the victim’s description ‘contribute[d] nothing to the officers’ ability to distinguish the defendant from any other black male’ wearing dark clothes and a ‘hoodie’ in Roxbury,” the court found.

The court also found that police should not have considered Warren’s decision to flee as suspicious.

Individuals have the right to walk away from police if they haven’t been charged with anything, and the court also found that it’s not unreasonable for black men to flee police to avoid harassment.

ADVERTISEMENT

The court found that police may consider flight as suspicious, even when the subject is a black man, but they said it should not be considered evidence of guilt.

“We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop,” the court ruled. “However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilt.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The majority found that black men were so frequently targeted for harassment by police that it was reasonable for them to run away from officers to avoid those humiliating confrontations.

“Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO [Field Interrogation and Observation] encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt,” the court found. “Such an individual, when approached by the police, 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 ruled that judges should consider racist law enforcement policies before holding a black man’s decision to flee against him in criminal cases.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus,” the court ruled.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump

Published

on

Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.

But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.

"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"

Continue Reading

2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

Published

on

The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

Published

on

In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

Continue Reading