The Boston Regional Intelligence Center is located in the headquarters of the Boston Police Department. This is a boxy four-story structure made of glass and concrete, sandwiched between two city parks. It was established in 2005 at the height of the war on terrorism to protect Boston from foreign enemies. The BRIC countries are a "convergence center", a site for information sharing between local and federal law enforcement agencies (including immigration and customs enforcement agencies). In essence, the BRIC countries are a magnifying glass-through it, what the city police observe can also be observed by many federal officials.
The BRIC countries are also a black box. Its unit has built a system of thousands of cameras throughout the Boston area that police officers can use with video analysis software to track specific cars and people. These cameras operate 24/7, but their exact purpose is still unclear; they are just there to identify threats. The BRIC countries also operate multiple databases that contain the private information of thousands of Boston residents, some of whom have not been charged with criminal offences; they have only been identified as threats.
In November 2015, a 17-year-old student at East Boston High School who was publicly called "Orlando" was found to be a threat. The year before, Orlando immigrated from El Salvador to the United States, alone and without documents, looking for his father. According to later reports, he and another student "attempted to fight" in the school cafeteria, "but did not succeed." Later, a school police officer confirmed his identity through a security camera, and the police officer also heard that he might have joined a gang. The official wrote a school incident report on the incident and pointed out in the last line, “This incident will also be sent to the BRIC countries.”
Orlando didn't realize that the BRIC countries had his information until nine months later, shortly after he was 18 years old, when he was arrested by ICE officials. They found him in his father's house and took him to the immigration detention center. This facility looks like a prison, but because the residents there are not citizens, they have even fewer rights. Immigrants can be detained indefinitely without a guarantee; Orlando waited there for more than a year. When he finally reached the immigration court, the lawyers of the Department of Homeland Security presented their reasons: Orlando should be deported because he was a member of the MS-13 group recognized by the federal government.
Their evidence against Orlando comes from a file in the BRIC database, which collects information about suspicious gang members. Orlando’s files include a school incident report and a photo of him wearing a Chicago Bulls hat. Officials obtained these hats from his Facebook. (In addition to being a popular sports team, the Bulls also shared one with MS-13 Symbol-bull horn). It does not include any suspected criminal offences.
Although Orlando and his lawyer insisted that he was never a gang member, he eventually agreed to be deported-as WBUR reported, after being detained for so long, he was too depressed to continue fighting with him .
There are other Orlandos far from the spotlight. Between 2016 and 2018, immigration lawyers near Boston noticed a surge in cases where the Department of Homeland Security relied on the BRIC gang database to expel clients. Many people are identified as gang members when they are under 18, usually in school incidents.
The information in the gang database obtained from Boston Public Schools includes—as in the case of Orlando—school incident reports, which record school misconduct or clearly defined criminal activities. It also contains an intelligence report submitted by the Boston school police, which records any "activity recorded for intelligence gathering purposes or solely for reporting and observation purposes." This activity can include where to see the student, see who the student is with, or what the student wears on or off campus.
The reports on youths in the BRIC gang database also include reports submitted by BPD officials. They usually write reports about people they blocked, and sometimes they write reports about people they just observe. Some Boston residents, usually young people of color, report that they have been stopped by BPD officials since they were teenagers.
Federal rules governing how fusion centers like the BRIC countries operate state that they can collect information about someone "only when there is a reasonable suspicion that someone is involved in a criminal act" and the information is "related" to that criminal activity. Lawyers and advocates argue that many documents entering the BRIC countries do not meet this standard.
In 2019, WBUR reported that BPD officials and ICE officials have been communicating extensively about specific undocumented immigrants in Boston via email, usually to find residents who violated civil immigration regulations and then deport them.
Recent public records requests submitted by immigration and civil rights organizations show that Boston’s school police have a similar pattern of behavior. Prior to the recent changes, school reports should be sent through the bureaucratic command system before reaching law enforcement. However, as the Orlando case suggests, communication between school police and BRIC officials is often more direct. The lawyers stated that hundreds of documents obtained from their organization's public records request showed that officials sent emails directly to officials from the BRIC and ICE asking about specific students they were interested in. A spokesperson for Boston Public Schools did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but school officials have repeatedly stated in the past that they will not share information with federal authorities.
In the past two years, the pattern of policing in Massachusetts has changed. According to the Massachusetts Police Reform Act of 2020, Boston school police are now only called employees of the Office of Security Services, and they have lost their police power. They no longer wear uniforms, no more police cars, and no longer arrest students or submit intelligence reports. The reports they can submit are limited to suspected criminal offences, medical emergencies, and missing students; they cannot include information such as citizenship or race. At the same time, Boston’s updated Trust Law in December 2019 restricts the information that law enforcement agencies can share with ICE. Amendments to the BPD’s rules governing its gang database now raise the standard for the quality of information required to establish gang membership.
Advocates welcome these changes. Nonetheless, some people are still waiting for Boston to develop concrete plans for more well-funded social services and restorative justice. They have not yet seen whether the reforms passed are sufficient to undermine the decades-old, entrenched police and surveillance system that they intend to resolve — a system that takes for granted that certain children should be considered a threat.
In 1974, the Boston School Committee, the governing body of Boston Public Schools, began preparations for an invasion. A few months ago, Federal District Judge W. Arthur Garrity blew up the Boston school system. He ordered the school to abolish apartheid; as he wrote at the time, the city "must eliminate all traces of the dual system of roots and branches."
For decades, Boston has had a large black population. In the first half of the 20th century, millions of southern black refugees fled ethnic violence and flocked to the north. There is a train line connecting Florida, Carolina, and Virginia with the northeastern cities. In the past five decades, 50,000 people have been online to Boston. This city may be far from what they thought. They are forced to enter segregated communities and cannot access public resources and schools like white residents. Brown v. Board came and went in Boston; black residents protesting the de facto school quarantine and poor educational conditions were severely suppressed by the Boston Police Department.
In September 1968, after a group of parents from the school complained to the school committee that the Boston School District provides services for their children, BPD began a two-week occupation of Gibson School, an elementary school in the black community of Roxbury Low level of education. In response, the school committee dispatched police.
That year, BPD officials were deployed across Roxbury to suppress black students and parents who protested the quality of the school. On September 26, after hundreds of black students held a rally to demand equality, the BPD beat the protesters with batons to disperse the crowd. These police officers removed their badges, so they could not be identified. A black Boston high school student at the time told the Boston Globe, "If you want to massacre in Boston, let the white policeman stay in Roxbury."
For many years, the premise of the school committee's operation was that it should accommodate black foreign children in Boston. In 1974, after Garrity's ruling, their prospects for entering white schools required a special strategy.
"We need adequate police protection," a school committee member said at a meeting on January 1, 1975, while discussing the committee's requirements for the governor. "Tell him a short paragraph and say that Boston's burden is too heavy. The trend is that Boston will be mainly black.'Now, what are you going to do to help us?'"
In 1975, a white man in South Carolina wrote to the then mayor of Boston, Kevin H. White, expressing the concerns of many white parents at the time: "You will find that as blacks merge, the crime rate will also increase. You will find that your school is almost completely isolated...I don’t envy you and the people in your city in the years to come."
In the first year of the abolition of apartheid, White and the school committee deployed half of the BPD police in schools on the grounds of potential violence by black students; in the second year of the abolition of apartheid, this number rose to 70%.
In fact, in the first few years of the school’s abolition of apartheid, most of the violence came from white parents and white police. In October, the National Guard was ordered to implement the desegregation order against white protesters. Within schools, the police disproportionately targeted black students; in the first few years of integration, black students’ suspensions and arrests became so severe that the school committee filed a lawsuit to end rampant discrimination against black students.
This large-scale deployment of officers was not sustainable; in the late 1970s, a "safety and security" force was deployed inside Boston Public Schools to ease the pressure of BPD. By 1982, this force had become the Boston School Police. Until the summer of 2021, school police are designated special police officers under BPD Rule 400a, which means that they are represented but lack formal police training-they only need 160 hours of training, and about 800 hours of full-time police academy requirements .
Nonetheless, the Boston School Police have many of the same powers as the BPD. They can arrest students and submit reports. They wear uniforms and have police cars. At least for the first few years of deployment, they directly connected them to the BPD via radio. In fact, the Boston School Police exists to expand the influence of BPD within the school and combat internal threats.
The call to the Boston police in 1979 started like this:
"Caller: On the street of (name), there is a group of teenagers playing football under these new lights. Can you get them out of here? Police operator: Yes, ma'am. Caller: Thank you. Police operator: You are welcome ."
"Caller: There are five or six children here. I won't talk about children. They are adults. They are playing outside, they are yelling, so we can't listen to TV."
"Caller: Hello, I'm calling from (address). Get these kids off the steps. It's crazy here. Police operator: What are they doing? Caller: These kids are starting to be wild again and change It's worse."
In response to each of these calls, BPD dispatched a newly formed anti-gang patrol. The anti-gang patrol was established in July 1979 to combat the surge in gang violence; the 1982 Boston University School of Law report on the treatment of young people by the police stated that 30% of all 911 calls in Boston in 1979 were “involved in gang riots or activities” .
The following is the current definition of gangs by the Boston Law Enforcement Department:
"A gang is an ongoing organization, association, or group of three (3) or more people, whether formal or informal, and meets the following two criteria: 1. Have a common name or common identification mark Or colors or symbols, or often appear 2. There are associates who have been engaged in or have engaged in criminal activities individually or collectively, which may include targeted violent incidents against rival gang associates."
This definition has always been broad. Since the late 1970s, concerns about gang violence in Boston have mainly revolved around "destructive youth gangs," that is, groups of children who do not belong to large formal gangs. In documents after the 1970s, "youth gang" and "gang" can be used interchangeably. As Matt Kautz, a PhD student at Columbia University, puts it, he studied the origins of Boston's school police, "there is a substitution between what may constitute an organized gang and just a group of young people."
The same BU report described the actions taken by the anti-gang patrol and pointed out that in the first ten days of the operation, “gang units responded to 1,015 complaints, dispersed 1,258 groups of youths, arrested 166 disorderly youths, and 131 young people were taken away in protective detention for detoxification." The report did not mention the arrest of any adults. A few months later, the anti-gang patrol was disbanded, but the BPD's strategy of targeting "youth gangs" still exists.
Most of these young people are black. Christopher Winship, a professor of sociology at Harvard University who worked with the Boston Police in the 1980s and 1990s to develop community policing strategies, pointed out that “almost all gangs in Boston are black.”
Kade Crockford, director of the Free Technology Program at the ACLU in Massachusetts, expressed it in a different way: "The Boston Police Department can classify many different organizations as gangs," but it seems only "when they are mainly black and Latino." BPD does not Responding to multiple requests for comment on the alleged racial profiling of young people in their police practice.
In 1989, a lawsuit was filed against BPD on the grounds of "searching for'policies of certain young blacks" in Roxbury. According to the litigation documents, the BPD also has a "secret list of'known gang members'" of 750 people. The people on the list were "searched on the spot," and the lawsuit described them as "a declaration of martial law in Roxbury, targeting a small number of people, young blacks, suspected gang members, or people deemed by the police to work for the company." People who are considered members."
A judge in the lawsuit held that BPD's actions were unconstitutional. But the secret list of "known gang members" and the BPD's harassment of the black community in Boston still exists.
In the 1990s, with the media's attention to the BPD interception and search strategy, the black community in Boston reached a breakthrough point due to BPD. Winship wrote in a 1999 report, “The Boston Police Department urgently needs a thorough reform to deal with all negative publicity.”
As part of an attempt to repair the relationship with the local community, BPD promised to develop a more targeted strategy. In 1996, the BPD developed the "Casefire Operation", "This is an innovative cooperation that focuses on targeted interventions for individuals who are most likely to become criminals and victims of gun violence."
The ceasefire operation aims to identify those most likely to commit a crime and remove them before they cause harm. In other words, the police will not be suspicious of the entire neighborhood, but will choose specific residents to bear the brunt.
Most of the work of the ceasefire operation was carried out by the Youth Violent Strike Force. The Youth Violent Strike Force was established in 1993 and is a police unit focusing on “coordinated use of order maintenance strategies to quickly'cool down' any gang guns in the city. Region. Violence broke out.” In essence, their purpose is to identify children who may be members of the gang.
Thomas Nolan (Thomas Nolan) was a police gang detective in Boston and is now a professor of sociology at Emanuel College. He joined the Youth Violent Strike Force at the beginning of its establishment. Strike Force, like Roxbury’s BPD, maintains an internal list of suspected gang members, and they use these lists to monitor those identified as “problems”. However, according to Nolan, there is no standard for the composition of gang members: "It may be,'I believe this kid is in a gang because I saw him with other people.'"
This information has been kept in the BPD until after the 9/11 incident, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center was established. Nolan explained that from there on, the list previously kept by the BPD developed into a gang database and became larger and larger.
This move is designed to help improve the efficiency of law enforcement. Winship believes that the database speeds up these processes by telling officials "'This is where you should focus.'"
But now federal law enforcement agencies have access to thousands of names in the gang database, some of whom dispute allegations that they have joined or were associated with gangs.
On a colorless day in February 2018, a black Boston resident named Keith took an Uber to the barbershop to make an appointment. After getting out of the car, he noticed that two BPD officers in a black car were looking at him; when he was walking on the street, he started to take pictures with his mobile phone. The video he later uploaded to YouTube started on a street lined with cars, surrounded by a steel-grey sky. When the police car came into view, one of the policemen rolled down the window. He squinted at Keith.
"You are definitely not Kevin, are you?" he asked.
"Why do you want to know my name?"
"You look like the person we are looking for."
Keith moved to his face, looking angry: "Again, we are gone." The official continued:
"Where do you live?" "You don't need to know this." Then the police officer asked him a series of similar questions about his address, occupation, and identity. "It's Thursday noon, what are you doing?" "What are you doing?" "I'm working."
Eventually, as Keith walked away, the officer returned to the car and the video ended.
Keith didn't seem surprised that the police would stop him. This seems to reflect guilt better than statistical reality. In 2019, departmental data showed that although Boston blacks accounted for a quarter of the city's population, the number of people intercepted by the police accounted for 69%.
In response to public outcry against Keith's video, BPD spokesperson Michael McCarthy told the Associated Press in 2018 that when officials monitoring the area saw a man they believed was holding a weapon, there was a pause. McCarthy assigned the responsibilities of both parties and added, “We can think that police officers need to behave better, and those who interact with the police need to behave better”-although it is not clear why the police stopped Keith, or exactly What is his "behavior" is wrong.
Although other aspects of this incident have been explained, they may be routine. There are many names about Keith. The official also asked for his address. Although recording personal information is a typical part of police interception, it is not yet known exactly what police officers intend to do-they are used for on-site interrogation/observation/encounter reports, which are records of observations made by the BPD of people interacting with them.
FIOE should be submitted every time you stop, regardless of whether the person intercepted is accused of criminal activity. In fact, they are usually not even suspected of criminal activity. According to the 2014 American Civil Liberties Union report on racial disparities in BPD, “In all [FIOE] reports from 2007 to 2010, three-quarters of officials claimed that the reason for initiating the encounter was only'investigators'. But'investigation The officer' cannot provide a reason permitted by the constitution to stop or search someone."
If there is no contact between the official and the person being monitored, FIOE can even be submitted. As Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out in a 2018 media article, police officers can make FIOEs based on observations from police cars or across the street, recording what someone is doing, “who are they with, or What are they wearing". (In an email statement last week, BPD spokesperson Detective Sergeant John Boyle wrote that the information entered into the BRIC gang database was determined to indicate “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. This is the standard in the federal rules governing the Convergence Center.)
Keith’s video also has some eye-catching features: the police officers know the name and appearance of the person they are looking for (although it is not clear enough so as not to confuse him with other people). "Law enforcement agencies know the communities they monitor very well. They know people by name, and they know them by face," said Valeria Doville, the lead coordinator of the Student Immigration Movement, an organization that educates and fights for the rights of immigrant students. Who is the target of surveillance is not random: they have been determined by the police as requiring observation.
Exactly how a police officer knows enough to find a particular person without seeing a particular person is still unclear. Nevertheless, personal information obtained through FIOE may be accessed by other officials, one of which is through the BRIC gang database.
FIOE and other field reports have always been the cornerstone of the gang database. Enter the FIOE representing the gang member or association and assign the score. Section 335 of the Boston Police Department Rules and Regulations outlines the points system. Each "connection with known gang members" is 2 points. Possessing a "famous group tattoo or mark" is 8 points. "Information developed during investigation and/or surveillance" is 5 points. The list goes on.
When a FIOE report about someone is sent to the BRIC to be added to the gang database, a file about them is created. From there, as more FIOE or other forms of evidence are submitted, individuals can accumulate points: at 6 points, they are gang members, at 10 points, they are gang members. If you live in a predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhood, it is not difficult to get an entry in the database. The American Civil Liberties Union’s public records requirements show that as of 2019, of the thousands of people who entered the gang database, 90.2% were black and/or Hispanic, and only 2.3% were non-Hispanic whites.
Therefore, living near black and brown residents means contacting people who have been identified as gang members and accomplices. As Mary Holper, Director of the Immigration Clinic of Boston College Law School pointed out, “If you go to school in East Boston or Chelsea, where there is a large Latino population, you don’t know who is a gang member and who is suspected of being a gang member. They see. Every time someone sees it, it will quickly reach 10 times. It only takes 5 times. So you go. You are a gang member."
BPD spokesperson Doyle wrote that the BRIC Gang Database is “an important tool in the city’s strategy, not only for responding to violent criminal activities, but also for supporting young people at risk, preventing violence and victimization in the community, and helping participants Provide safety and a healthy path to a better life." He wrote that the data in the gang database helps to target youth outreach, inform prosecution decisions, and respond to crime through "effective deployment of police resources."
Holper said that by deploying police resources, her clients are often "stopped and searched and asked if they are gang members." In a 2014 American Civil Liberties Union report, Ivan Richiez, an African-Dominican Bostonian, recalled being stopped by the BPD for the first time in 2007, when he was 14 years old. When Ivan and some friends were sitting on a bench near where they lived, the BPD approached them, searched them, and asked what they were doing, where they lived, and whether they were in a gang.
Not all the evidence in these documents comes from FIOE reports only. A given file may contain various information about a given suspect. This may include owning a gang publication or self-recognition as a gang member. It can also include evidence collected from social media. As the Orlando case shows, files often contain photos of their subjects, which are then viewed by officials who visit them.
A person in the gang database usually has no way of knowing that they have entered; the police do not need to notify them. Although individuals can now technically ask whether they have been entered into the gang database, several lawyers said that the instructions for how to do so are still unclear; the BRIC privacy and civil liberties policies do not outline the specifics for making such requests. mechanism.
But if someone is in the gang database, the police will know a lot about them, although it is not clear who can access it. Elizabeth Badger, a senior attorney for the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, expressed concern that this information is spreading throughout the police station. Fatema Ahmad, executive director of the Muslim Justice League, noticed that black and Hispanic young people who worked with her were often stopped by BPD officials. Although they had never seen them before, they Already knew who they were-she suspected it might be because they had been put in the gang database.
Emily Leung, director of immigration attorneys at the Justice Center in Southeast Massachusetts, said that for these young people, being stopped by the police "makes them feel that they must have done something wrong." "It keeps them out of touch with the school and out of touch with the community."
At the 2020 Boston City Council meeting, David N. Karabin, director of the BRIC countries, told consultants that the establishment of the BRIC countries corresponds to the decline in the crime rate in Boston (the crime rate in Boston did fall, but almost everywhere else. The crime rate has also fallen) in countries during the same period).
Later, at the city council meeting in 2021, Counselor Julia Mejia asked Carabin whether he could quantify the impact of the BRIC countries on crime prevention or resolution. "A lot of our work is aimed at positive police measures [...] We have many successful cases, but many positive police measures are difficult to evaluate," Karabin responded.
In an article about the conference published on the Gulf State flag, Crockford said: “I have never seen any evidence that the BRIC countries are making Boston safer. Government agencies are always required to show them. Work. In this case, people just shrugged and said,'The police say they need it, so we will provide it.'"
In 2016, 18-year-old young people around Boston began to disappear.
At the beginning of that year, Liang received a call from a friend of an immigration lawyer. This friend could not find her client. He has completely disappeared. In the end, she figured out what happened: Unbeknownst to his friends or family, he had been taken to the immigration detention facility by ICE.
For ten years, Boston has been a receiving place for refugees from Central America. In the 1990s, conflict and civil war caused thousands of undocumented immigrants to travel to Boston from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. From 2014 to 2015, there was another wave of immigration, mainly to escape gang violence. Thirty percent of immigrants from Central America to the United States are children; half of them are unaccompanied.
Two years later, immigration lawyers from all over Boston noticed that more young clients were being detained. The badger from the PAIR project suspected that the price increase was a response to the two murders of MS-13 in East Boston. These clients are of a specific type: they are all Central American immigrants, all have just grown up, are enrolled in public schools in East Boston or Chelsea, and are included in the BRIC gang database.
Badger, Nolan and others stated that the gang database appeared to contain a large amount of information directly from Boston school police. Therefore, the street is the place of contact between the suspected threat and the law enforcement agency. School is another matter.
The Boston School Police has submitted two reports to the BRIC countries: the school incident report and the intelligence report. Although the school incident report records major incidents in the school, the purpose of the intelligence report is much more vague. Like FIOE, they do not necessarily record suspected criminal acts, but rather more mundane things: what the students wear, who the students are with, and what the students may have said.
Liang said that some intelligence reports appeared to be baseless. "They're like,'I saw a student of XX and a student of XX in the cafeteria." Okay, okay, they are all school students."
Not all school police intelligence reports have been filed within the school. In 2017, the Boston School Police submitted an intelligence report after being prompted by several students to gather in the dog park outside the school. It is unclear how or from whom they received this notification-the report mentioned an unnamed "resident". The school police then went to the dog park, where, according to the report, they observed children they suspected to be associated with MS-13. The report was forwarded to an official listed as a “gang intelligence lieutenant” in Boston Public Schools in 2020, and it ended up in the BRIC gang database.
It is not clear why any of these types of reports were sent to the gang database. Nolan, a sociologist and former official of the Youth Violence Force, questioned why any school police report was related to the gang database. "They have not received training on how to identify gang members," he said. "Therefore, there is no professional knowledge related to gang membership in the Boston School Police Department."
In any case, the lawyer who saw the information entered into the gang database stated that the school played a direct role in implicating its clients. Badger said that her clients in the gang database were originally entered when they were under 18 years old—many reports from school police.
Badger said that some officials at East Boston High School "want to label young [Central Americans] as a gangster." Among her clients, the school police noticed fighting, leaving school early, and even "others misunderstood the person." .
Badger and other lawyers interviewed believe that the Boston school police turned the behavior of a teenager that may be problematic but not criminal into a sign of joining a gang. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes, representing Orlando, said the school police recorded even the choice of clothes. "A lot of teenagers wear the same clothes because they are part of the teenagers," she said. "You want to blend in. Boston Latino young people have style, they have posture, they wear Nike Cortez sneakers, but that doesn't mean they are gang members."
The school police report appears in the BRIC gang database along with the FIOE submitted by the BPD. Immigration lawyer Liang pointed out that FIOE and school intelligence reports document similar mediocre activities. She wrote in an email that the information they recorded was not enough for criminal courts to use - but it was still "often used to support the re-arrest and detention of immigrants."
Boston Public Schools did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the effectiveness of school police reports in identifying gang members or security service employees suspected of racially motivated police.
Sherman Stokes said Orlando was detained purely because of evidence against him in the gang database — she believes the evidence is at best indirect. "He has never been arrested, charged or convicted for any crime," she said. In order to prove that he is a member of MS-13, "They removed something from his Facebook page, such as he was wearing a [Chicago] Bulls hat. Then at the hearing, the [Homeland Security] lawyer said, ' You will see, your honor, he wears a Bulls hat. Everyone knows that Michael Jordan played for the Bulls and he is the No. 13 player. But he is not. He is No. 23. Like, you are saying What?
Content that may not meet the criteria for criminal prosecution can still be used in immigration litigation. Violation of immigration law is not a criminal offence-therefore, in immigration courts, the rules on what can and cannot be used as evidence and the rights of the defendant are much thinner. The right of undocumented immigrants to obtain lawyers, cross-examine witnesses, or even appear in court in person is often not enforced.
Immigration lawyers say that law enforcement agencies sometimes assume that their clients are gang members, even if there is no evidence against them. Sherman-Stokes recalled an incident in 2015 when she went to the asylum office with a young client from El Salvador. She was wearing what she described as "a harmless blue trench coat his mother bought for him." An official of the Department of Homeland Security met with them, and he began to "interrogate" him about the jacket: "Why is he wearing blue? He noticed white piping on the jacket. The child didn't know that blue and white were MS The color of -13? It's amazing."
The full extent of information sharing between the Boston School and the BRIC countries is still unknown. As of 2019, 1.7% of the entries (80 people) in the BRIC gang database are children under the age of 18. However, this low percentage can be deceptive: According to reports, Badger and Liang said that legal reforms and leadership changes, as well as the well-known cases in Orlando, led to fewer school police reports sent to the BRIC starting in 2018. And many people who previously entered during high school may have just grown old: 19.4% of databases are between 18 and 24 years old. In addition, the public record request comes from a civil rights lawyer who revealed that between 2014 and 2017 alone, at least 135 school incident reports were imported into the BRIC countries.
In an interview with WBUR in 2020 about the incident report exposed by civil rights lawyers, Boston Superintendent Brenda Cassellius emphasized the shared report before 2018 and stated that Boston Public Schools currently "do not share information with federal authorities at all."
Before 2020, school incident reports should be sent to the Boston Public Schools Safety Services Department, where they can determine whether they need to be shared with the BPD. From there, the BPD can send the information to the BRIC countries at its discretion.
But records show that individual Boston school police officers are in their own hands. As stated in the Orlando archives-"This incident will be sent to the BRIC countries"-at least one official directly forwarded the student information to officials in the BRIC countries.
The officer did not act alone. Badger and lawyers representing four groups—the Law and Education Center Corporation, Children in Need of Defense, the Civil Rights and Economic Justice Lawyers Committee, and the Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy Corporation—filed a request for public records in 2018. It was recently revealed that the Boston School The police often communicate directly with officials from the BRIC countries and ICE. Via email, the school police sent information about the students to federal officials. Federal officials will also require school police to monitor specific students of interest.
Lena G. Papagiannis is a teacher in Boston and a member of Unafraid Educators, a committee of the Boston Teachers Union that advocates for immigrant students. She read excerpts from some of these emails at city council meetings.
An email link originally went from a BRIC official to a school police officer, and it said: "Do you  go to school in [your school]?" The police officer replied: "Okay, brother, I Checking, I will tell you." The official sent a photo to the official, and the official sent back the student's personal information. The BRICS officials forwarded all this to an ICE official with a note: "Is this your guy?"
The other, from ICE officials to school police and BRIC officials, started: "Do you know this [student]?" The Boston school police officer replied, "Yes, sir, he is a student of [REDACTED]. We still There is no information about him. Still looking at him. The address of this child is the same as [REDACTED]."
A final email from a BRIC official to several ICE agents, with the subject "School Police Incident" report, which contained a school incident report. It read: "Please note that the school police report listed these two [students] as self-identified gang members. This is a gang verification fee."
This request has hundreds of pages of email. There are also e-mails that indicate that school police are communicating with federal officials via mobile phones; the extent of these undocumented conversations is unknown.
The testimony has not been reported in the press, and the lawyer involved has not issued any press releases on it. To protect the privacy of students, they did not share these files with me. Badger also stated that she believes that school administrators are unaware of these extensive communications among federal agencies such as school police, BPD, and ICE.
Boston Public Schools did not respond to multiple requests for comment on these emails. Doyle did not comment on these specific emails, but wrote that under the updated Boston Trust Law, the BRIC countries cannot share personal information to assist ICE in enforcing civil immigration laws (but it cannot be used to investigate criminal activities). An ICE spokesperson declined to respond to specific criticisms, but wrote that ICE officials in Boston "before and now do fully comply with and abide by all local law enforcement agreements."
Nora B. Paul-Schultz of Unafraid Educators saw these documents and was disturbed by the “arbitrary communication” between school police and law enforcement. She said: “Who is so important that their names can be immediately communicated with law enforcement. Has the department shared thought about the consequences of this?"
This attitude towards children shows the unique attitude of the United States. Many other countries have a minimum age of criminal responsibility, before which they cannot be prosecuted for crimes. For most developed countries, this is set to 18 years old. In the United States, there is no minimum age set by the federal government—some states have no minimum age at all. In Massachusetts, it is 12 years old, the oldest of all states.
"We believe that students have the right to privacy and the right to enter puberty," Paul-Schultz added. When their misconduct was recorded in a report, "the students have been condemned."
According to the logic of law enforcement, these reports are necessary for public safety. But this may also mean that for some students, the school has lost basic functions; in a blog post on the ACLU website, Holper pointed out, “Protect [my client] from being described as a gang by the school police One way for members to be mistakenly marked as gang members and deported is to advise them to stop going to school."
As Papagiannis asked: "Whose is safe, who is safe?"
As of the 2021-2022 school year, Boston School Police no longer exists. In 2020, after protesting racial justice, Massachusetts passed a police reform bill that abolished "special police", including Boston school police. They are now specifically referred to as security service employees. Although the staff remains the same (the former "gang intelligence lieutenant" is now listed as the "day shift supervisor/chief expert"), they will no longer have police powers.
As mentioned earlier, security service personnel can no longer submit intelligence reports, and the content of incident reports they can submit is restricted. When making a BPD report or school safety report, parents must be notified. Only the director and deputy director of the safety service department can choose to share the report with the contact person of the BPD school unit. However, the new regulations do not prohibit the preparation of accident reports based on the personal knowledge or observations of safety service employees, as long as the knowledge is "relevant" to the relevant accident.
In theory, the gang database itself has also changed. In response to the public outcry, the rules 335 used to manage the gang database were modified. FIOE can no longer be used as the sole basis for accusing gang members. Individuals who have not recorded recent activity will be "purged" from the database. The BPD and BRIC have pledged to link the youth in the gang database with social services so that they can eventually "purge all youths from the gang database and stop the cycle of violence in the City of Boston" (although they will not stop entering the youth in the gang database in the first place ). A person can now request deletion from the database, but Doyle writes that although several such requests have been submitted to the BPD, "only one correction was required due to a correction request."
Some advocates have expressed cautious optimism about these developments, although not everyone is so hopeful. "I can see things go back to the bad past," Tom Nolan said. "It's the same institution, the same people. They dress up differently, but they are all new bottles of old wine."
— Rebecca EJ Cadenhead, associate editor of the magazine, can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ibuprofenaccident.