- The Washington Times - Friday, October 10, 2014

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday he is considering forming a statewide panel to look in to racial policing issues highlighted in a new American Civil Liberties Union report.

The study, published Wednesday by the Massachusetts chapter of the ACLU, found that the Boston Police Department stops and frisks far more African Americans than white people.

According to the study, which was conducted using police department data from 2007 to 2010, out of roughly 200,000 people stopped and frisked but not arrested, 63 percent were black. Only 24 percent of Boston’s population is black.

Mr. Patrick called the report “sobering” and said the findings are cause for “not just a study but action,” the Boston Herald reported.

“I have had some contact with some citizens about whether there is some task force or commission on a statewide basis that we can set up to examine these kinds of issues,” Mr. Patrick told reporters. “It’s something I’m trying to sort out whether it can take hold and if we can produce something in the time I have remaining in office.”

But the police department said that the ACLU study was flawed in a statement released shortly after the study was published. The department argued that the ACLU used outdated data and that the study does not indicate that the people stopped were in high-crime areas, nor does the study reflect policy changes made in 2011 to refocus efforts on curbing gang activity.

But the department did acknowledge that “black subjects are 8 percent more likely to be stopped repeatedly and 12 percent more likely to be frisked and searched.”

“The study did show some racial disparities that must be addressed,” the statement said.

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