Racial Profiling at the Boston Marathon

Police Accountability, Racial Justice


Civil Rights Organization Takes Legal Action Against Police Department in Newton, MA

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) has received requests for legal assistance from both marathon spectators and runners who have consistently noted that police officers targeted and singled-out Black people for surveillance and aggressive treatment during the Boston Marathon.

Reports from non-Black observers and runners confirm and corroborate the racial profiling complaints, including efforts to block Black people from cheering the marathon participants through law enforcement tactics.

Affected individuals consistently describe a barricade of police officers monitoring and surrounding Black spectators near the mile 21 marker in Newton, MA. Police did this to Black observers, but not to other spectators.

LCR sent a legal letter to the City of Newton and Newton Police Department demanding an independent investigation of surveillance and law enforcement tactics during the marathon. LCR also requested public records to ascertain the scope and scale of the constitutional deprivations. The demand letter is available here: