A Burlington Free Press investigation found that racial disparities appear to persist in the way Burlington police officers use physical force on community members.
A Free Press analysis of data provided by the department shows that 27% of subjects of police force in 2019 were Black. This is both a higher rate than appears in the racial breakdown for 2019 arrests by Burlington police and for the overall demographic of the city.
Over the past few years, racial justice advocates and some elected officials have increased their scrutiny of the way officers interact with the community, including through their use of physical force. The increased focus has followed a number of high-profile incidents throughout the nation in which law enforcement killed Black citizens.
In Burlington, community members have called for more accountability for officers who use what appears to be excessive force or use physical force in a racially biased way.
Contact Elizabeth Murray at 802-651-4835 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @LizMurrayBFP.