City of Somerville

Agenda Item
Kept in Committee
Jun 18, 2020 6:00 PM

That the City Solicitor draft an ordinance, prior to this Council's June 25 meeting, banning racial profiling.


Department:City CouncilSponsors:City Councilor At Large Wilfred N. Mbah

Official Text

That the City Solicitor draft an ordinance, prior to the June 25th City Council meeting, banning racial profiling.

Meeting History

Jun 11, 2020 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting

Councilor Mbah noted the public's many calls reporting racial profiling and said this ordinance would make a difference.

AYES:Wilfred N. Mbah, Mary Jo Rossetti, Kristen Strezo, William A. White Jr., Matthew McLaughlin, Jefferson Thomas ("J.T.") Scott, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jesse Clingan, Mark Niedergang, Lance L. Davis, Katjana Ballantyne
Jun 18, 2020 6:00 PM Video Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting
draft Draft

Ms. Phillips asked for some clarity around the intent of this order, and provided examples of other racial profiling laws, as well as what the Somerville Police Department policies already state, which includes an annual review and some training elements. She noted that state and federal constitutional law do also make racial profiling a violation. Councilor Ewen-Campen requested information on what data can be collected on the race of individuals involved in police interactions. Councilor Niedergang elaborated that the department's incident form approved by the state does not include race data, but the process to change the form should be undertaken again. Ms. Webber noted that the civil citation booklets do not capture race information, and approval is required from the Supreme Judicial Court to make modifications.