May 13, 2021

The Needham Channel

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Differing Conclusions

Last month, Needham Select Board heard and discussed an independent report on an investigation into alleged racial profiling by Needham Police. While the report concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding of profiling, the story does not end there. There has been a stirring of community sentiment that more should be made of the reports findings, and that what is known of the incident should serve as a seed for change and greater oversight of local law enforcement. Yuxiao Yuan spoke with law professor Stephanie Hartung, who spoke at a recent forum held by Equal Justice in Needham, a grassroots organization actively seeking social justice reform.



An extended version of the story is below:



Complicating the perception of the Select Board’s reaction to the final report was the availability of an earlier draft. The changes between the two documents raised questions, as well as trying to determine what the town going to do to act on its recommendations. The matter was discussed at the April 14th Board meeting. We spoke with Select Board member Marianne Cooley, who also chairs the Needham Unite Against Racism Initiative.