BOSTON (CBS) — Public arrest data has not been posted on the website of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, as required by law.
In 2018, Massachusetts passed a law mandating that all police departments submit arrest data to EOPSS. The law requires that data includes “the race, gender, and age of the arrestee.” It states that the department will post the data quarterly.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts wants those details.
“I’ve been unable to locate that information and it’s been the law now for two years,” said Kade Crockford, the director of Technology for Liberty, a program run by the ACLU. She collects information about Boston Police field integrations.
“The most recent data that the Boston Police Department reported is that 70% of people observed or questioned or stopped and frisked by the Boston Police Department are Black people despite the fact that Black people are only 24% of the city’s population,” she said. “There are large holes in that information as well. For example, the Boston Police incident data that’s published the city’s website does not include information about whether there was an arrest that took place as a result of that incident. It also does not tell us the race of the person who was engaging with the police.”
Without arrest information, Crockford said it is difficult for tax-payers to know where their money is going and for policymakers to shape legislation.
“Without that data being public for everybody to examine, we simply do not know how many people were arrested last year in Massachusetts for drug possession. We don’t know how many of them were White or Black or Asian or Latinx,” she said, “I wonder why the state hasn’t complied with the law because the government shouldn’t have anything to fear from transparency here.”
A statement from EOPSS spokesman Jake Wark said: “EOPSS began the process of implementing the law upon its passage, and has collected a comprehensive set of data from various law enforcement departments and municipalities to build a searchable website which will be launched this week.”
No explanation of where the data has been since 2018 was provided.