Policing Dissent

Documents and video surveillance tapes obtained by the ACLU of Massachusetts and the National Lawyers Guild, Massachusetts Chapter—after suing for access on behalf of five peace groups, four activists and Political Research Associates—show that officers assigned to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center at the Boston Police Department are collecting and keeping information about constitutionally protected speech and political activity. The documents provide the public with its first glimpse into the political surveillance practices of the Boston Police Department.

Read the report

Policing Dissent

Watch the video

Read media coverage

Democracy Now!: Boston Police Spied on Protests, Meetings
Radio Boston: Boston Police: Unlawful Surveillance Or Justified Information Collection?
WBUR: Groups Fault Boston Police For Surveillance
Boston Globe: Boston Police accused of spying on antiwar groups
NECN: Boston PD Accused of Spying on Anti-war Groups
ACLU Blog of Rights: When Boston Police Spy on Free Speech, Democracy Suffers

Read legal documents

Complaint
Public records request to Boston Police Department regarding peace groups (6.24.2011)
Public records request to Boston Police Department regarding activists interrogated by BRIC (3.29.2010)
Public records request to Boston Police Department regarding suspicious activity reporting (12.28.2009)

Read public records released by the Boston Police Department

The following are public records released by the Boston Police Department in response to three public records requests and a subsequent lawsuit to compel the department’s response. The first request asked for information about policies and procedures for sharing information with the federal government. Second, we asked for information on individual activists who had been interrogated by BRIC agents. Third, we asked for any information the Boston Police had on a number of local peace groups.

Boston Police Department “intelligence reports” and “incident reports”

BRIC Privacy and Civil Rights Policy – Policy that governs how the Boston Regional Intelligence Center will handle personal and sensitive information during law enforcement and intelligence operations

BRIC Information Sharing Environment through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – Privacy policy that applies to officers and employees involved with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center when submitting information to the federal government’s Information Sharing Environment (ISE) through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

BRIC SARs training presentation – Powerpoint presentation explaining Suspicious Activity Reports. Most of the presentation is redacted.

BRIC Tips and Leads Guidelines – Guidelines for turning tips and leads into Suspicious Activity Reports.

Template for Suspicious Activity Reports

BRIC Criminal Intelligence File Guidelines – Guidelines about creating and keeping intelligence files. Includes rule that “interim” files containing no information about crime must be destroyed after 90 days if no crime has occurred.

Memorandum of Understanding between Brookline Police and BRIC for Cooperation and Information-Sharing

Memorandum of Understanding between Cambridge Police and BRIC for Cooperation and Information-Sharing

Memorandum of Understanding between Chelsea Police and BRIC for Cooperation and Information-Sharing

Boston Police Rule 200: Critical Incident Management

Memorandum of Understanding between Revere Police and BRIC for Cooperation and Information-Sharing

Letter from DHS to BRIC Regarding Their Privacy Policy

Letter from IJIS to BRIC

Letter from Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance to David Carabin, Director of BRIC

Letter from Boston Police Department to ACLU

Read Boston Police Department “intelligence reports” and “incident reports”

“Intelligence reports” on First Amendment activity

These reports, created by officers stationed at the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), show the extent of police monitoring of peace groups engaged in purely lawful activities.

4/13/2010

       Homeland security – domestic
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

3/18/2010

       Homeland security – domestic
       Groups: United for Justice with Peace; Code Pink

5/18/2009

       Groups – Civil Disturbance
       Group: Code Pink

1/8/2009

       Groups – Extremists
       Group: Stop the Wars Coalition

10/1/2008

       Homeland security – Domestic
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

6/10/2008

       Groups – Extremists
       Groups: Code Pink; Stop the Wars Coalition

3/26/2008

       Groups – Extremists
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

3/20/2008

       Groups – Extremists
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

3/11/2008

       Groups – Extremists
       Group: United for Justice with Peace

1/3/2008

       Homeland security – Domestic
       Group: United for Justice with Peace

4/2/2007

       Homeland security – Domestic
       Group: Code Pink

3/28/2007

       Groups – Extremists
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

3/27/2007

       Groups – Civil Disturbance
       Groups: Stop the Wars Coalition; United for Justice with Peace

Incident reports

Reports documenting times when Boston Police are called to the scene of an event. Some document arrests at Occupy Boston in 2011.

10/13/2011

       Disturbing the peace (from Occupy Boston)

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Disturbing the peace

10/11/2011

       Demonstrations/riot

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Demonstrations/riot

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Trespassing

10/11/2011

       Disturbing the peace

9/30/2011

       Trespassing

9/30/2011

       Demonstrations/riot

12/16/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

7/29/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

7/21/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

6/16/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

5/31/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

5/29/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

5/12/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

4/21/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

3/31/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

2/18/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

1/18/2010

       Demonstrations/riot

10/17/2009

       Investigate person

1/8/2009

       Assault and battery

12/29/2008

       Demonstrations/riot

12/10/2008

       Demonstrations/riot

8/13/2008

       Demonstrations/riot

11/11/2007

       Disturbing the peace

2/28/2007

       Demonstrations/riot

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