BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on the Associated Press review of Boston police stop, search and frisk data (all times local):
Boston’s mayor and police commissioner are standing by the police department’s tactics after an Associated Press review found little has changed in how often minorities are subject to police stops, searches and frisks, a year after the agency claimed it was making gains.
Police Commissioner William Evans said Wednesday that when the data are more thoroughly analyzed, they will show officers are doing their job appropriately and focusing on the people and places where violence is occurring.
Evans didn’t dispute the AP’s findings as he addressed local media. He says “the numbers are what they are.”
Mayor Marty Walsh adds that arrests have gone down roughly 40 percent in the past three years.
He says that’s partly because police are identifying at-risk youths through street encounters and intervening before they can commit more serious crimes.
The rate at which minorities are subjected to stops, searches and frisks by police doesn’t appear to be improving in Boston.
The police department last year said it was narrowing racial disparities in policing tactics.
It released data showing blacks and other minorities comprised roughly 73 percent of police-civilian encounters between 2011 and 2015.
But an Associated Press review of the most recent data available shows minorities still represented at least 71 percent of all police-civilian encounters in 2015 through early 2016.
Civil rights activists have long complained blacks comprise a majority of police encounters, despite representing roughly 25 percent of Boston’s population.
Carl Williams, of the American Civil Liberties Union, says such unequal treatment make minority residents more likely to perceive police negatively.