Responding to the Policing Crisis

Police Accountability, Racial Justice

Lawyers for Civil Rights has been actively responding to the racial justice and policing crisis pre-COVID and mid-COVID. Here’s a snapshot of our life-changing work:

  • We currently represent Hope Coleman, the mother of Terrence Coleman, a young Black man with mental health issues who was killed by Boston police. Hope has been actively speaking at protests to raise awareness about her son and the need for police departments to conduct unconscious bias and de-escalation trainings, and to adopt policies to better guide officers who interact with people experiencing mental health issues.
  • We are calling city leaders to act swiftly to remedy injustice to “Boston’s George Floyd.”
  • We are protecting victims of hate crimes in East Boston and Worcester whose horrific experiences were ignored by local police.
  • We are calling on school districts to immediately begin the process of reviewing and restructuring all their ties and contracts with city police departments to reduce police presence and to limit reliance on law enforcement.
  • We are actively monitoring law enforcement to address instances of racial and identity-based profiling. We are also pushing for sustained training on unconscious bias, use of force, and de-escalation techniques. To maximize effectiveness, this training must be coupled with strictly-enforced operating procedures that guide officer interactions with civilians, particularly those in distress who are experiencing mental health or substance use issues.
  • In court and in the community, we are demanding greater transparency from police. This work builds on our longstanding work on body cameras.
  • We are aggressively pushing for racial, gender, and linguistic diversity in public safety agencies to help them better reflect the communities they serve.
  • We are proposing oversight models to policymakers and have been strongly promoting police decertification.
  • We are using social media, including Twitter, to disseminate know-your-rights legal materials, including helpful resources for protesters.
  • We have created and shared know-your-rights videos via Facebook to help keep people of color and protesters safe.
  • We are spearheading and coordinating racial justice responses from lawmakers, community leaders, and clergy.

If you experience or witness police brutality, hate crimes, or violence towards protesters, please contact us for free legal assistance: 617-482-1145.