The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is calling for an independent investigation into the Williamstown Police Department after it admitted officers illegally searched the names and records of local police reform advocates.
As WAMC first reported Friday, the WPD acknowledged that community members who had called for reforms had their records illegally accessed by officers. It came during months of local debate over allegations of sexism and racism in the department.
William Newman, an attorney in the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Western Regional Office, told WAMC in a statement the ACLU seeks an independent investigation, adding: “Police misconduct—including the misuse or abuse of police tools—must be considered with the utmost seriousness. There can be no accountability without transparency.”
To date, none of the people whose information was improperly accessed have taken legal action against the town or police department.