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Roxbury state rep cites issue of racial profiling in casting sole vote against bill to ban distracted driving

The state House of Representatives voted 153-1 today in favor of a bill that would ban the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. State Rep. Chynah Tyler of Roxbury (D-7th Suffolk), who cast the lone opposing vote, says she doesn't oppose the basic idea, but that the bill did not contain any provisions to collect data to ensure minority drivers won't be singled out for enforcement.

In e-mail to constituents tonight, she wrote:

I agree that hands-free legislation should be enacted in the Commonwealth. Cell phone use is the main factor that leads to distracted driving, and distracted driving is one of the major causes of traffic accidents that can lead to injuries and/or death.

However, I have heard from many of you about tense interactions with law enforcement while on the road. As a member of the Public Safety committee, it is my duty to change the narrative and to work towards better relationships with our law enforcement. Collecting data from all traffic stops - regardless of whether they result in a citation - would have ensured that we can reached our goal of having unbiased policing.

She added:

As a member of the legislative body, I am appreciative of all of the hard work put forth by my colleagues around distracted driving and how it relates to racial profiling. I am, however, concerned knowing that more data could have been collected in efforts to protect drivers like you.

We must now turn our focus to ensuring that there is accountability in the data collection that we currently have. With your support, I look forward to leading that effort with my colleagues in the legislature .

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Comments

I've been pulled over for having a scented tree hanging from my rear view mirror the officer pulled me out the car frisked me then wrote me a $35 ticket for obstruction of view. This was 15 years ago and is one of maybe 150 times I been pulled over for being me I've heard excuse they can give since about 1993 in boston ma. Could you just imagine. It's all documented !

We would finally know if "Driving while Black" in Brookline is really a violation or not. I've heard that all my life.

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That's been my experience and that of people I know. And considering how they treated their black officers, and how they were never able to resolve that dispute, I have no reason to doubt that racism is a serious issue on Brookline PD.

Or they say they do.

Blacks are pulled over at a rate of 9 to 1 so I am 9 more times likely to get pulled over than you. Do u know how it feels to be pulled over 3 times in one day no tickets given just racial profiling.

Of course not.

It also isn't 9-1 in Boston or probably anywhere in America except for Detroit, Michigan were 80% plus of the population is black.

from the court cases so we can safely assume driving while black is equally problematic for that town.

In Brookline is an issue. But let's talk boston I've been pulled over so many times I keep my license in my cup holder for easy access. To bad they can't pull over that homocide backlog of over 1000 unsolved murders in the inner city.

Several transit agencies are being accused of racial profiling over stopping minority passengers for fare evasion. There were major protest in New York and AOC supported the protestors. Are the MBTA police required to document all their stops and searches of individuals they cite and arrest for fare evasion?

Are the MBTA police required to document all their stops and searches of individuals they cite and arrest for fare evasion?

Is this a hypothetical/fantasy question? I've seen numerous fare evaders and I've never seen anybody from the T (even when they're standing right there) do anything about it at all, not even a nasty look, nothing, nada. What is this "stops and searches" you speak of?