In Massachusetts, laws intended to protect domestic abuse victims’ privacy are being used to deny access to data about enforcement
One of the frustrating ironies to come out of efforts to collect information on domestic violence is that sometimes the laws meant to protect victims get in the way of obtaining data that could be used to improve services to them.
Back in August, a handful of Nazis, White Supremacists, and “free speech advocates” came to Boston, where they were met by tens of thousands of counter-protesters. While the crowd was huge, only 33 people were arrested. And according to recently released incident reports, at least one of those was a photojournalist who tripped up a cop who might have taken the training wheels off too soon.
While in the process of asking police departments around the nation about their policies on off-duty officers, we received Boston Police Department’s Rule 102 - ”The Conduct and General Rights and Responsibilities of Department Personnel,” which contains all the rules and regulations that a BPD officer must live by. Apparently, naps were an issue.
After an exciting but relatively peaceful weekend of protesting, calm was restored to the city, and MuckRock awaits its latest requests for the official footage of the event.
We’ve sent requests to police departments around the country for their incident reports, threat assessments, and any other records we can get surrounding the law enforcement response to the protests surging through American cities. While most of our requests are still processing, what we have received illustrates how remarkably unprepared some law enforcement was for demonstrations of this scope.