Opinion: Why I Support State Sen. Chang-Díaz’s Police Reform Bill

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Racial profiling continues to be a problem in Massachusetts and throughout our country, as people continue to be prejudged because of the color of their skin.

Often, police officers will attack first and ask questions later. According to the ACLU Massachusetts, Black and Latinx motorists are significantly more likely to be stopped and have their vehicle searched.

A 2018 analysis of Boston court data showed that Black motorists are nearly 15 times more likely to be charged with a motor vehicle offense in certain parts of the city.

In the movie The Hate You Give two innocent Black teens are driving on a back road at night enjoying each other’s company when they get pulled over by police for being Black. The male ends up getting shot to death. Unfortunately, this is not just happening in the movies. It happens all too often such as the cases of George Floyd and Kwame Jones.

According to CBS, police in the U.S. killed 164 Black people in the first 8 months of 2020. This is a crime against humanity. In many of these cases, the police say they were just defending themselves, but because of racism, they jumped to conclusions, which led to senseless deaths.

This has gone on for too long and it is time we plan a change. State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz has come up with a good plan for police reform in Massachusetts. Her legislation will ban racial profiling and give authority to the attorney general to prosecute patterns of bad police practice.

As a resident of Jamaica Plain, a youth leader at the Hyde Square Task Force, and as someone who does not feel safe in the presence of police, I strongly support this plan. I also urge all of our community members who believe in justice to support it too.