The Boston City Council is holding public hearing about the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) use of surveillance equipment like drones, cameras, social media software, and license plate readers. The City Council is considering drafting an ordinance that would regulate the BPD’s purchase and use of surveillance technology.

We’re* concerned about…

  • Young people of color being targeted where they live, work, and go to school
  • Families being criminalized because of who they are and where they live
  • Feeling like prisoners in our own neighborhoods
  • The presence of police officers and their cameras and technology that watches and records where we go, what we do, and who we talk to
  • The police watching and collecting information about Black and Brown community organizers

We* know that the Boston Police…

  • Racially profile Black and Brown residents and stop, search, and arrest people of color more often than white people
  • Do not tell the City Council or Boston residents what technology they buy and use to watch and record us or how much they spend on it
  • Record, track, and spy on Boston residents and keep information about us in databases
  • Share information about Boston residents with federal agencies like the FBI and ICE

We’re* organizing FOR…

  • The right to be free from police harassment, abuse of power, and undignified experiences living and working in our own communities
  • Community power and control over the police

We’re* pushing back AGAINST…

  • The secrecy of the Boston Police Department
  • The targeting of Black and Brown people based on where they live and who they know
  • A concept of “public safety” that defines Black and Brown Bostonians as dangerous and criminal
  • The idea that more police, more cameras, and more equipment makes Boston safer
  • Spending precious city resources on police, cameras, software, and other technology when we need housing, education, treatment, and services
  • Fear, shame, and stigma imposed on communities of color

Residents of Boston must have…

  • Full knowledge and control over what information the police have about us and what they can do with it
  • Freedom to move through Boston without fear of being watched, stopped, and harassed by the Boston Police
  • Clear policies to control how much power the police have, how they use it, and the consequences when police violate those policies

*Who is the “we”?

  • Residents of Boston
  • Black and Brown people
  • Heavily police neighborhoods
  • People of color targeted by the police

      Re: Docket #0264 Order for a hearing regarding the usage of surveillance equipment in the City of Boston

      Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice

      Councilor McCarthy, Chairperson

      One City Hall Square, 5th Floor

      Boston, MA 02201

      Dear Councilor McCarthy and members of the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice,

      My name is:

      And I live:

      I am concerned about the Boston Police Department’s power to stop, surveil, record, track, and share information about Boston residents.

      The City of Boston must pass an ordinance regulating the Boston Police Department’s purchases and practices related to surveillance technology and data that will protect the rights, privacy, and dignity of all residents.

      I want the Boston City Council to be aware that I have experienced/witnessed the Boston Police Department abuse their power by:

      The impact the Boston Police have had on me is:

      This issue is important to me because:

      I want the the Boston City Council to pass an ordinance that will: