- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Boston Police Department for withholding records related to recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations and other policing issues.

The civil rights group’s Massachusetts chapter said Wednesday that it has filed nine public records requests with the department in the last year-and-a-half that are all “well past-due.”

Among the things the ACLU has requested are use of force records from June’s anti-racism demonstrations as well as from the controversial “Straight Pride Parade” in 2019.

It has also requested information about the department’s use of teargas and pepper spray going back to 2016, the location of surveillance cameras in Boston, and any communications between city officials and federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Matthew Segal, the organization’s legal director, said release of the information has taken on “new urgency” amid nationwide calls for police reform.

“Transparency is at the heart of accountability,” he said in a statement. “The public has the right to know what the police are doing in their name and with their tax dollars.”

Massachusetts law requires public agencies respond to records requests within 10 business days, but the ACLU says Boston police have a “longstanding pattern of delay” that violates the law.

A police department spokesperson declined to comment Thursday, citing the pending litigation.

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