Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Boston Cops Oppose Body Cameras

"Use of the cameras is seen by policing leaders and by President Obama as one step that departments can take to improve relations between officers and the communities they police, by deterring police misconduct or documenting it. Basic questions about their use remain."

It's not seen that way in Bo$ton!

"Boston City Council to consider body cameras for police" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  August 04, 2015

The city’s top officials are taking a cautious approach to the contentious issue.

“We’re not ruling it out,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans said last week. “We’re taking a slow methodical look at the benefits. I don’t want to firmly commit us until it’s vetted across the country.”

So much for being the national model after all the problems other cities have had.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who shifted his position on the issue last year, said he and Evans are considering participating in a pilot program, but he has qualms.

“It really hasn’t been shown to even build trust in the community,” Walsh said.


RelatedState Police considering cameras

No, that's Vermont.


Evans raised concerns over issues of constitutionality, privacy, costs, and the cameras’ effect on the department’s relationship with the community.

“Cameras are only a small part of the solution,” Evans said. “Working hard to build strong relationships and building their trust and respect, that’s what it’s going to take to address what’s going on around the country — not a gadget on someone’s lapel.”


These guys are spying on everything we do, but when the shoes is on the other foot, it's wait, wait, wait. What are you hiding?

The deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., New York, South Carolina, and Baltimore at the hands of police during the past year have prompted community leaders and civil rights groups to demand more police accountability. Police in major cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., use body cameras or have participated in a pilot program.

What about the dead white people? One a day, just like the black.

Boston City Councilor Charles Yancey sponsored the proposal to be heard Wednesday at 5 p.m. It was crafted by the citizen group Boston Police Camera Action Team.

“Accountability is a very important requirement for any police department and in light of the national trend of instances where individual citizens have been subject to deadly force, it would be helpful to have documented evidence,” Yancey said.

That's why the cops don't want them.

The proposal calls for all uniformed and plainclothes officers in the field — excluding undercover or off-duty officers — to wear body cameras on their lapels and record all interactions with the public.

Seems reasonable, given that they are public servants paid with public tax dollars.

It requires officers, who would be responsible for turning the camera on, to ensure it is recording when they are responding to calls, pursuing suspects, at crime scenes, and during searches, arrests, and physical confrontations. 

Oh, forget to turn it on. Sorry.

“As an African-American, if there’s any one camera I want around me it’s the one on an officer because what we have seen is it’s easy for an interaction to go south very easily,” said Segun Idowu, co-organizer of the Boston Police Camera Action Team. “A lot of the time, officers’ version of events is accepted because they have on a badge, and mine is disregarded because I’m the person in conflict with the officer.”

That's changing fast!

Evans said he has been doing his homework on the issue, speaking with police chiefs across the country who have equipped their officers with the cameras and studying reports. He said the devices have been effective in recording problematic encounters and could improve job performance, but many questions loom.

“We will not be so approachable as we were before,” he said. “We have a hard time getting witnesses to talk to us as is. We’ve got something special here with the community; I don’t want to jeopardize that.” 

(Blog editor just shakes his head)

The proposal prohibits officers from using cameras during lawful protests, inside courtrooms, or when recording an interaction that could expose a confidential informant or undercover officer. Officers who fail to wear or turn on the body cameras would be subject to disciplinary action.

Requiring body cameras also may need the union approval, Evans said, since it would be a change in work policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union renewed its call for body cameras last month after the release of a report that showed Boston police had disproportionately observed, interrogated, or searched black residents between 2007 and 2010.

RelatedACLU of Mass. sues Boston police for stop records

Also seeACLU critical of how SWAT teams are used

They may find one at their offices if they are not careful.

“The evidence is that using body cameras protect the public, and officer complaints go down, and use of force goes down,” said Matthew Segal, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Don't tell that to Walsh or Evans.

The proposal does not specify where the videos might be stored or how much it might cost to implement the plan. Evans said storing the footage could cost the city up to $3 million a year.

All of a sudden the cost and storage is a concern, but not for you, citizen who is having all their data collected.

About 40 officers at a North Philadelphia police station, one of that city’s busiest and most violent, recently completed a pilot program. City officials there are now assessing it, and figuring out how they can outfit 4,500 patrol and specialized officers with body cameras.

“The issue is the infrastructure,” said Lieutenant John Stanford, Philadelphia police spokesman. “The questions become about the capacity of downloading this every day for 21 [police] districts, each with three [shifts] . . . where do you store it? How long do you keep it? Who has access?”

TASER International, which manufactures body cameras and a system to store the videos, sells the devices for $399 and $599. The company’s cloud service,, costs $15 a month per officer or $89 per month per officer with a lifetime warranty.

Good money in TA$ERs, huh?

Man dies after Worcester police use shocking device

Not the first time:

"Five Hagerstown police officers involved in the stun-gun-related death of a home invasion suspect won’t be criminally charged, authorities said Thursday, citing an autopsy report’s finding that the man died from drug-induced ‘‘excited delirium in the setting of police restraint.’’ The state medical examiner’s office said it couldn’t determine the manner of Darrell Lawrence Brown’s death — such as homicide, suicide, or accident — after he was shocked twice by a Taser on the night of April 16. But Washington County State’s Attorney Charles P. Strong said evidence that Brown was intoxicated with synthetic drugs sold illegally as ‘‘bath salts,’’ combined with his bizarre, aggressive behavior, pointed to drugs as a significant or primary factor in his death. A woman who answered Brown’s telephone Thursday said she’d rather not talk about the case. A call to his mother’s home wasn’t returned. Investigators say Brown, 31, of Upper Marlboro, was shocked for five seconds, causing him to fall backward, after he ignored police commands to get down on the ground. He received another five-second jolt as he continued resisting, even with his right hand cuffed, investigators said. Police were summoned by a 16-year-old girl, one of five children at home when Brown kicked in the locked front door of their row house and came upstairs." 

What a surprise, huh? 

I doubt he will be given Mike Brown treatment by the pre$$.

Look who is being charged for using one.

But Yancey said the body cameras could save the city money by lowering the number of lawsuits filed against the police department, which paid $41 million to settle lawsuits and legal claims during the past decade.

Some have pointed to the commissioner’s recent decision to share surveillance video with the public following two fatal police-involved shootings — including an incident in March that led to the death of a man who shot an officer in the face during a traffic stop. The other occurred in June when a knife-wielding man described as a terrorist was shot dead.

Why no names?

The footage, gathered from surveillance cameras on nearby businesses, was grainy. Proponents say the body cameras would produce clearer and more complete videos.

Wayne Sampson, head of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said the group supports body cameras, but it helps when police departments have a solid policy in place.

Look at the f***ing excuses for their exemption!

A handful of Massachusetts police departments are considering or have outfitted some of their officers with the devices, including Methuen, Abington, Gill, Springfield, and Worcester. State Police are considering a system that would include body and dashboard cameras.

The Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, released a report last year that reviewed body camera programs.

“Giving officers cameras and just putting them out there is really counterproductive,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the forum. 

Then quit spying on all of us with the electric eyes!

“Boston would be wise to think through this decision,’’ he said. “How will it impact community-policing when trying to meet citizens during informal encounters?”

They will be glad the camera is on.

It’s unclear where the proposal stands among City Council members. Most councilors did not return calls seeking comment.

Daniel Sibor, chief of staff to Councilor Josh Zakim, said the lawmaker is supportive of body cameras. “We’ve seen how effective it can be,” he said.

Councilor Tito Jackson said he too is supportive of bringing the devices to Boston’s police force.

Force will fight it every step of the way.

In May, the federal government announced a $20 million Body-Worn Camera Pilot Partnership Program, which includes competitive grants for local law enforcement agencies.

In Boston, some community leaders say officials should try a pilot program.

Jorge Martinez, executive director of Project Right, a Grove Hall antiviolence organization, said: “We need to try something.”


"For Boston officials, police body cameras is uncertain topic" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  August 05, 2015

City Council members expressed mixed opinions about introducing body cameras in Boston at a hearing Wednesday, while residents said they want to see them adopted and the police department’s top official maintained his wait-and-see approach.

The proposal, which comes on the heels of a series of controversial police-involved shootings nationwide, calls for all uniformed and plainclothes officers in the field — excluding undercover or off-duty officers — to wear body cameras on their lapels and record all interactions with the public.

Little over two a day, one dead white, one dead black.

Under the proposal, officers would be responsible for turning the camera on and ensure it is recording when they are responding to calls, pursuing suspectst crime scenes, and during searches, arrests, and physical confrontations.

Police Commissioner William B. Evans, who has raised concerns over issues of constitutionality, privacy, costs, and the cameras’ impact on the department’s relationship with the community, said that he has not ruled them out and that he and the mayor are considering them.

But Evans told council members, “I want to go slowly. I want to go methodically.”

That's not what a national leader on what a police force should be does.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh also has expressed concerns about the effects of the cameras on relationships between police and the public.

“It really hasn’t been shown to even build trust in the community,” Walsh said last week.

Really, Marty? Then why do the people want it?

Evans said body cameras are not the answer to the systemic issues that plague some police departments.

Then they can't hurt, right?

Some council members echoed Evans’ concerns and raised questions about when the cameras should be recording and when they should be shut off.

Craven cowards.


Among the country’s 25 largest cities, Boston is one of four that has yet to implement or try out body cameras, said Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The other cities are Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville. Police in major cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., use body cameras or have participated in a pilot program.

“That’s shameful,” said Rose. “We deserve better.” Body worn cameras have “shown to build trust.”

Not according to local leaders!

Evans told council the $3 million a year it would cost to fund the program is of concern.

It's less than the over $4 million a year they are paying out to hush up lawsuits!!!

But supporters of body cameras argued that the money the city spends on lawsuits against the department could decrease with the use of the devices.

Briana Cardwell, a 21-year-old junior at Bowdoin College said the cameras would go a long way to restoring the public’s trust in police.

“The use of body cameras offers society, especially communities of color, a pathway to restore public trust in a law enforcement culture that is unfortunately too quick to defend misconduct, slow to identify and remove bad cops and unwilling to recognize and address the impact of race in community policing,” Cardwell said. “[Body cameras] will offer us access to the truth.”

The trust is going to take years to get back seeing as it has been violated for years -- if they ever get it back.



Police, families gather at Boston celebration

Dorchester rally to push for peace on the streets

Court orders Boston police to reinstate fired officer

In slim-chance cases, Rosemary Scapicchio beats the odds

Diversity hailed as Boston police promote 34 officers

No. 2 in Boston’s homicide division reassigned

Residents cower in a neighborhood beset by violence

Man shot and seriously wounded in Roxbury
Man shot in Roxbury is ‘fighting for his life’

Two ‘career criminals’ arrested on gun charges in Dorchester

End of patrol.

Cambridge police refuse to release use of force policy

.... In an e-mail last month, Cambridge Police Department spokesman Jeremy Warnick replied that releasing the policy would hamper investigations, and “more importantly, officers following these policies and procedures may also be placed at risk when engaging dangerous suspects.” By contrast, the Boston Police Department posts its entire manual online....

Cambridge police release policy on use of force

Was that so hard?

"Authorities identify Lynn police officer involved in deadly force case" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff  July 16, 2015

Authorities on Thursday released the name of the Lynn police officer who fatally shot a 23-year-old Roxbury man when he allegedly tried to drive his SUV into the officer during a drug investigation in the North Shore city on Monday.

The officer was identified as Detective Stephen Emery, an 18-year veteran of the force, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.

Emery and a second Lynn officer were conducting a drug investigation on Rock Avenue on Monday when they allegedly saw a drug transaction take place between two people and a third person in a Ford SUV later identified as Rafael Suazo, 23. Suazo was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital after he was shot in the head.

The two drug buyers were arrested without incident by the second officer. Sharon Landy, 32, and Vinchenzo Pintone, 33, were arraigned in Peabody District Court Wednesday on charges of possession of heroin....


I know it sounds reprehensible, and I'm not even for it, but maybe it is time to legalize all the drugs.

Related: Man shot by Salem police was ‘very familiar’ to officers

"Police seek man who allegedly confronted boy, 12, in Randolph" by Felicia Gans Globe Correspondent  July 24, 2015

Randolph police are searching for a man who allegedly confronted a 12-year-old boy near a school playground on Thursday and may be impersonating a police officer, officials said.

The boy was on his way to the playground at about 3 p.m. on Thursday when he walked by the suspect, sitting in a black sedan with tinted windows in front of the Donovan School, police wrote on their Facebook page.

The man got out and said to the boy, “This is a high drug area, and I need to search your backpack,” according to police.

The suspect asked the boy to search through his own backpack, and then left the scene without taking anything.

Police said the man was not wearing a badge or a firearm, but had with him a “police-style radio.” Police did not give any other details on why they believe the suspect was acting this way.

The suspect has been described by police as a white, “clean-shaven” man in his 30s, approximately 5-feet-9 and 200 pounds, with black hair. He was wearing sunglasses, a black shirt, tan pants, and a tan or brown jacket, police said.

Randolph police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call....


Reminds me of Mitt Romney

Can you imagine what would have happened had he got the cuffs on him?

Undercover detective, another man guilty in biker assault on driver

They kept that quiet.

"A former Worcester police officer convicted of raping a woman while on duty has been sentenced to up to seven years in prison. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported that Rajat Sharda was also sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation. He was convicted last week of rape, open and gross lewdness, witness intimidation, and larceny. Prosecutors said Sharda was on duty on the morning of Aug. 6, 2013, when he assaulted a woman after finding her and her boyfriend engaged in a sexual encounter in a vehicle in a parking lot. The woman testified that the officer sexually assaulted her after handcuffing her boyfriend, ordering her from the vehicle, and asking if she was willing to have sex to avoid arrest." 

What is it with cops in Worcester anyway?

And out here in this part of the state?

"A former Lee police chief who had been charged with embezzling a department-run charity that buys Christmas gifts for underprivileged children and extorting a $4,000 donation to the fund has been acquitted of all but one of the charges he faced. Former chief Joseph Buffis was found guilty Tuesday in federal court in Springfield of extortion but acquitted on 10 other charges including wire fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors alleged that Buffis coerced local innkeepers facing prostitution charges into donating $4,000 to the Laliberte Toy Fund in exchange for dropping the charges. They also allege he diverted money from the toy fund for his personal use." 

That is about as low as you can go, I gue$$.


Mass. Senate president seeks funds for police body cameras

5 shot, 1 fatally, in pair of Boston shootings

Man dies in shooting near Kendall station

Pennsylvania top prosecutor says charges tied to offensive e-mails

Pennsylvania jail owner to pay youths $4.75m

Time to abort this post.

UPDATE: 5 killed in night of violence across Greater Boston


Further Updates: 

A search for clues in three cities after deadly night of gunfire

Here are the victims. Thank God fatal shootings are down.

“There’s a ripple effect in terms of psychological emotional trauma.”

Slipped through the loophole it did, sorry.

Boston officer agrees to resign, plead guilty to federal charges

A cautious, joyful return after conviction reversed

Methuen police preferred applicants who wouldn’t arrest colleagues

Arlington officer cleared in bank heist suspect’s 2014 shooting

Man in serious condition after he was shot by police in Lynn

Roxbury man shot by Lynn police in drug probe dies

4 shot, 1 killed during violent weekend in Dorchester