Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Use of force by FPD

 Good to see Chief Trask not charging the Patch reporter 1800 dollars for this info. What was missing from this report was how many officers have had complaints filed against them over excessive force. Also, FPD has banned chock holds but not no-knock warrants, one of the main reasons innocent people have been killed.

From the Patch.

FRAMINGHAM, MA — Framingham police officers have used force — from pointing guns to deploying pepper spray — hundreds of times over the last several years and the number of incidents has increased recently, according to annual reports kept by the department.

Framingham police Chief Steven Trask said officers use force at a very low rate compared to the number of people they arrest — up to 1,800 each year. The rise in use-of-force incidents can be attributed to better reporting standards that Trask put in place in 2018, he said.

Trask released annual reports on use-of-force from 2016 through the first quarter of 2020 after a public records request.

On June 1, Patch asked Framingham police for all use-of-force reports from 2017 to present. Under department policy, officers are required to write a report every time they use force. The department wanted $1,800 to produce almost 250 reports written by officers. In lieu of those, Trask shared his annual use-of-force reports, which contain general statistics.

In the 2019 report, the department recorded 78 incidents where force was used, a sharp increase from 2016, when officers used force in 38 incidents. Prior to 2018, Framingham police only recorded use-of-force incidents that occurred after a person was arrested. Since then, the department has tracked use-of-force when a person is issued a summons or goes to the hospital for a mental health issue, also known as a Section 12.

"We wanted to be more accurate, [with] more transparency," Trask said about the change, which happened when he was appointed chief in 2018 by Mayor Yvonne Spicer.

Use-of-force during arrests has also increased. In 2018, police used force 46 times during arrests and in 2019 that figure increased to 64. A report covering the first quarter of 2020 showed force was used 18 times, including during 12 arrests. Use-of-force also rose for Section 12 incidents from 10 in 2018 to 12 in 2019, and four in the first quarter of 2020.

The reports from before 2018 show total incidents, plus statistics on what type of force was used and when it was used. Framingham saw a spike in June 2017, for example, which was attributed to Brazil playing in the World Cup.

The department also began looking at use-of-force by race and gender in 2018. Most often, police use force against men who identify as white, according to the reports. In 2019 for example, police used force with 63 men and 15 women; 51 were white, 17 were Black, and 10 were Latino. The race and gender stats are self-reported by people who are arrested, Trask said.
Types of force

The types of force Framingham police use differs each year, but can range from deploying a Taser to pointing a gun. Physical force is by far the most common, but the annual reports don't detail how physical force was used.

Between 2018 and the first quarter of 2020 (Jan. 1 to March 31), Framingham police used physical force 88 times; used a Taser seven times; pointed a gun 27 times; and used a baton on two occasions, according to the reports.

Framingham police are not allowed to use chokeholds, a policy that was emphasized recently when Mayor Yvonne Spicer ordered a review of police policies.


At June 24, 2020 at 11:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why were no-knocks not banned? Isn't that what they were using in the Eurie Stamps fiasco? To many times those have led to bad results. Some of these cases the police are too stupid to make sure they are at the correct address. Knocking on a door and verifying the address with the person who answers is a simple way to correct that mistake by the police.

At June 25, 2020 at 12:58 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

no knock warrants were a tool in the war on drugs. The reason was, the drug dealer didn't have time to flush the contraband down the toilet or for anyone to jump out a window.
Lets see if any council member cares enough or is not afraid to bring the subject up at a council meeting.

At June 25, 2020 at 1:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is going to be a very long wait


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