Updated 2:44 p.m. ET
Boston police street stops — called "field interrogation and observation" encounters, or FIOs — have been trending downwards, reaching their lowest number last year since 2012, according to department data.
In 2020, a year that saw a nationwide movement against the current systems of policing, and a pandemic that kept many people off the streets, Boston police stopped 10,224 people as part of 5,717 FIOs.
That’s nearly 30% fewer stops than 2019, when 14,444 people were stopped during 8,337 FIOs, according to the Boston Police Department.
A GBH News analysis of the department data shows that the majority of these stops involved Black people: 62.3% of those stopped in 2020 were Black, more than doubling the percentage of white people, who made up 30% of the stops. Nearly one fifth, or 17.5%, are listed as Hispanic. More than a quarter of the total stops have the ethnicity listed as “unknown."
In 2019, 69.1% of those stopped were Black.
Since 2012, when the Boston police recorded 40,497 stops, the trend has been showing a general decrease in stops, with 8,805 FIO reports involving 15,011 individuals from January 2017 to December of 2018.
Nick Martin, a spokesperson for acting Mayor Kim Janey, said it was "encouraging" that the number of FOIs has fallen since 2012 but said that "the persistent racial disparity in who is stopped remains a concern."
"As Mayor Janey expressed last week, she understands that the fabric of trust between the Boston Police Department and Boston residents has worn thin in parts of our city, especially in communities of color," Martin said via email. "She is dedicated to ensuring safety, healing and justice for every resident in all of our neighborhoods."