On Tuesday, March 9th, the Boston City Council held a hearing concerning Boston’s gang database. We submitted testimony urging the City Council to eliminate the database in its entirety. In addition to being unreliable and overbroad, Boston’s gang database is a system of surveillance that both grows out of and reproduces systemic racism. The gang database is not a tool that produces community safety. It serves as a fundamental affront to the constitutional rights of Black and Brown people, and it also compromises community safety by enabling and reinforcing aggressive policing in communities of color.
Instead of continuing to invest in a fundamentally flawed and racist system of surveillance and control, the City of Boston should invest in sources of community safety: truly affordable housing, lead abatement, community gardens and greenspace, living wage jobs, basic income payments, access to therapy and treatment for trauma and substance use, youth jobs and programs, community-led violence intervention and prevention.
Read our testimony: