BOSTON (WWLP) – United State Attorney Andrew Lelling announced on Friday the creation of a statewide Civil Rights Task Force.
The task force will work with local and state law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations in Massachusetts, as well as strengthen the relationship between the community and law enforcement. Providing training and support for police officers on how to detect and encounter civil rights issues will also be be a main goal for the task force.
“The current intensity of public concern with issues of racial equity, persecution of minorities, and relations between minority communities and law enforcement, demands a coordinated law enforcement response,” said U.S. Attorney Lelling. “In short, we need to do something and, in the interest of bolstering the public’s trust, the public needs to see that we take these issues seriously and will be accountable for our success or failure.”
The first meeting for the Civil Rights Task Force was held Friday. Leadership members in the group include Terrence Reidy, undersecretary for law enforcement at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; William Gross, Boston police commissioner; Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association President Jeff W. Farnsworth, chief of police for the Hampden Police Department; and Gina Kwon, chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s criminal bureau.
The task force will begin meeting in January 2021.