reporter Allison Manning has detailed the lead-up to ACLU of Massachusetts v. Evans, the ACLU suit against Boston police: frustration with stonewalling the release of data on police-civilian encounters—which have become especially important amid the nationwide controversy over racially biased policing—as well as the need to fix Massachusetts's broken public records law.

Manning writes:

"The Boston Police Department has troves of data on hundreds of thousands of encounters between police and civilians. But they won’t hand it over, despite a public records request made almost a year ago by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

"So the ACLU Thursday sued the department, the latest example of the lengths required in Massachusetts to get public records.

"In those three years, researchers found that the more black and Hispanic residents there were in a neighborhood, the more FIO stops occurred, even controlling for crime and other social factors. Controlling for age, sex, race and gang membership, black people were 12 percent more likely to be frisked and searched during a stop."

Read the whole story: Another day, another public records lawsuit in Massachusetts