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Supreme Court of the United States





The Boston University Center for Antiracist Research (the “Center”) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit university-based research institution that convenes researchers, scholars, and policy experts across disciplines to find novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial injustice and inequity. The Center’s interest in this case arises from its expertise in researching and understanding the harms of policies, practices, and actions that produce and sustain racial inequities, and in advancing antiracist alternatives that promote racial equity.

The Second Circuit’s interpretation of the so-called “favorable termination rule,” which imposes an “indications-of-innocence” standard, is precisely the type of policy the Center is concerned about because it produces, maintains, and exacerbates racial inequities. The indications-of-innocence standard ignores how police officers disproportionately and routinely target Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) with false criminal charges to cover up their abuses of power or to retaliate against BIPOC who assert their constitutional rights. Most importantly, the standard enables police officers who pursue false charges to escape accountability for such misconduct when prosecutors decide to dismiss false charges against innocent defendants who never had an opportunity to prove their innocence.



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