Statement Regarding Boston Police’s Black History Month Tweets

Police Accountability, Racial Justice


The unique role law enforcement plays in Boston makes cross-cultural understanding an imperative. This weekend’s tweet underscores the need for police to prioritize trust and understanding within the communities they serve. We have much more work to do.

To be clear, this tweet is not about the misstep of one person or one department. This tweet amplifies the need for continued work to deepen our collective understanding of our shared history and the role that Black people have played in it especially in this City where we consistently stumble on issues of race.

On this journey toward racial inclusion, we cannot lose sight of the goal, nor can we waver in our commitment to achieving greater racial understanding. We must be intentional and vigilant in our efforts. We can and must do better for our City. The residents of Boston deserve better. We all deserve more.

More begins with a commitment on the part of BPD to not only diversify the police department at all levels, but to implement a comprehensive strategy for inclusion. We believe that had there been a racial equity lens used in this instance the outcome may have been different.

That being said we appreciate the statements issued by the Mayor, State Representative Evandro Carvalho, and City Councillor Ayanna Pressley earlier today recognizing our shared disappointment and interest. Now is the time for all of us to work together to help ensure that the sentiments expressed today are put into practice.

To that end we are calling for the implementation of comprehensive implicit bias training for all managers across the City of Boston. As the City submits and the City Council votes on the budget, we are calling for the inclusion of a budgetary line item to support such systematic training across all departments. There can be no wavering on this. All of us, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender deserve this to be a top priority. This City deserves more.

NAACP, Boston Branch
Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
Anti-Defamation League of New England
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
Massachusetts Association Minority Law Enforcement Officers
State Rep. Russell Holmes

This incident was featured in a report and column in the Boston Globe.