I don't know how to seed a pdf, or even if we can, but this is the link to the Court's document. It's a pdf. Be sure you have a reader. The interesting part starts around page 16 and 17.
17 the view that flight to avoid that contact should be given little, if any, weight as a factor probative of reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, our long-standing jurisprudence establishing the boundary between consensual and obligatory police encounters will be seriously undermined. Thus, in the circumstances of this case, the flight from Anjos during the initial encounter added nothing to the reasonable suspicion calculus.Second,as set out by one of the dissenting Justices in the Appeals court opinion, where the suspect is a black male stopped by the police on the streets of Boston, the analysis of flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus cannot be divorced from the findings in a recent Boston Police Department(department)report documenting a pattern of racial profiling of black males in the city of Boston.Warren, 87 Mass. App. Ct. at 495n.18(Agnes. J.,dissenting), citing Boston Police Commissioner Announces Field Interrogation and Observation (FIO)
Ok. Here's where we are. In 2011 a man named Jimmy Warren was arrested for gun possession...of a gun that was found about 5 or 6 ft from where the police first saw him and another man who vaguely resembled the description of one of 3 men involved in a robbery a couple of miles from where the police first spotted him. The gun was found later, it was on the other side of a fence and not really accessible from the sidewalk. He was convicted, mainly because he fled when he saw police approaching. There was nothing that tied the gun to the reported robbery, or to the man being charged. But he was a felon, and he ran, and that was enough to get him convicted. This is the conviction that was overturned.
In this session the Court ruled that a black man has legitimate reasons to flee police that are divorced from guilt.
Interestingly, to me at least, even in the dissenting opinion the justices acknowledge that:
based on FIO data collected by the department, black men in the city of Boston were more likely to be targeted for police-civilian encounters such as stops, frisks, searches, observations, and interrogations.15Black men were also disproportionally targeted for repeat police encounters.16We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However,in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect's state of mind
orpolice-civilian encounters from 2007-2010 targeted blacks, even though blacks made up less than [twenty-five per cent]of the city's population").14The study by the Boston Police Department (department)reviewed all field interrogation and observation (FIO) reports, approximately 205,000 in total,submitted by Boston police officers from 2007 through 2010.Warren, 87 Mass. App. Ct. at495 n.18 (Agnes, J., dissenting).15"[T]he targets of FIO reports were disproportionately male, young, and Black. For those 204,739 FIO reports, the subjects were 89.0 percent male, 54.7 percent ages 24 or younger, and 63.3 percent Black." Final Report, An Analysis of Race and Ethnicity Patterns in Boston Police Department Field Interrogation, Observation, Frisk, and/or Search Reports, at 2 (June 15, 2015)
.16The department's study revealed that five percent of the individuals repeatedly stopped or observed accounted formore than forty percent of the total interrogations and observations conducted by the police department. Warren, 87 Mass. App. Ct. at 495 n.18 (Agnes, J., dissenting), quoting Boston Police Commissioner Announces Field Interrogation and Observation (FIO) Study Results, http://bpdnews.com/news/2014/10/8/boston-police-commissioner-announces-field-interrogation-and-observation-fio-study-results [https://perma.cc/H9RJ-RHNB].19consciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt.Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report's findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus
So. Basically they're putting it out that black men are targets of the police and have a legitimate reason to fear encounters with the police. So, there it is in black and white from the Mass. Supreme ct. What do you bet that this will be appealed? The cops are NOT going to let it stand that they might be the bad guys.