Read: Wu explains why she changed course on police grants

Local News

City Council is expected to vote on the grants Wednesday, which would support the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has caught criticism in recent weeks for seemingly reversing course on grant funding that would support the Boston Regional Intelligence Center. Known as BRIC, the center is a data analysis operation that houses, among other things, Boston’s gang database of suspected gang members.

Critics of the database have long said that it is racially discriminatory and enables civil liberties violations. Wu herself voted against funding for the BRIC in 2021 as a City Council member.

The grants were the subject of a heated City Council hearing Friday, where Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox and others explained how the funds would be used and advocated for their necessity.

The four grants, which total $3.4 million, are set to be taken up during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. Councilor Michael Flaherty, chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, recommended that the grants should be approved after Friday’s hearing, but stiff resistance is likely to remain.

On Wednesday morning, Wu sent a letter to City Council explaining her reasoning for supporting the grants when she did not do so in the past.

“I didn’t want people just to think, ‘Oh well, she said some stuff as a councilor and now she’s mayor and she has to say some other stuff,’” Wu told host Jimmy Hills on his program “Java with Jimmy” Wednesday morning. “We had not put forward these grants from when I became mayor all the way to September of 2023. There was a reason for that. I wanted to be absolutely sure that any funding we’re using is actually going to go to help and make a difference.”

Read the full letter below:

BRIC letter by Ross Cristantiello on Scribd