Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Boston Cops All Choked Up Over Video

That's what happens when you eat too fast:

"Video shows Boston officer with hands on suspect’s neck" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  August 24, 2015

Boston police have launched an investigation into an incident captured on video showing an officer putting his hands on the neck of a handcuffed suspect.

The undated video was posted to YouTube on Monday. In the clip, the young man approached a plainclothes officer who was filming civilians on a Boston street and shouted a profanity. As the youth walked away, another plainclothes officer followed him.

That second officer grabbed his arm and walked him to a police cruiser, where he instructed a uniformed officer to arrest the youth for disorderly conduct.

After the young man was handcuffed, he again shouted obscenities and resisted officers’ efforts to place him into the cruiser. At one point, the uniformed officer put his hands on the suspect’s neck for about 10 seconds, and the young man was pushed into the back seat.

Boston Police Lieutenant Michael McCarthy, a department spokesman, said in a telephone interview that the Internal Affairs Division is “looking into” the video clip. As of Monday, no officers had been disciplined, he said.

“No one has come forward to complain [about the incident], but that hasn’t stopped us from at least turning it over to Internal Affairs,” McCarthy said.

He said he did not have the name of the officer who put his hands on the suspect’s neck, but he argued that the officer did not apply pressure to the young man’s throat.

“It’s on the base of his neck,” McCarthy said. “They’re trying to push him down into the police car, and he continued to talk and yell. There’s no indication that there was any type of force used around his neck.”

Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, who had viewed the video, condemned the officers’ actions.

“It appears that the officer has no basis to even arrest this young man,” Hall said. “He’s engaging in protected speech, as unsavory as it may be.”

Hall also asserted that police used excessive force.

“The level of force that was used, specifically the officer who was choking the young man, was completely unnecessary,” Hall said. “There seems to be no justifiable reason for that officer to place his hands on the young man’s neck. This officer appears to be set on revenge because of what this young man said.”

He also said the incident underscored the need for Boston police to wear body cameras, noting that an officer was also filming the incident. City officials have said they are open to consider body cameras, but the department has not implemented a program.

RelatedBoston Cops Oppose Body Cameras

Well, some are open to them being the tested.

“I’m assuming that this officer is going to suggest that he was doing it to record his version of events,” Hall said. “That’s exactly what body cameras will be used for, in addition to police accountability.”

McCarthy, the police spokesman, said the department appreciates the fact that a member of the public shot the video of the incident.

That would be a first.

“It’ll certainly go to help with our investigation,” he said.


"Boston police chief denies officer choked suspect" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  August 26, 2015

Police Commissioner William B. Evans acknowledged Tuesday that a videotaped incident showing an officer putting his hands on the neck of a handcuffed suspect might look “terrible,” but he said the young man was not choked.

A nearly three-minute video posted to YouTube on Monday shows a man identified by his attorney as 18-year-old Elvin Vargas approaching a plainclothes officer who was filming civilians on Washington Street in Roslindale.

What up with the blanket spying?

The teen shouts profanities about the police.

Can't say I blame him.

Another plainclothes officer follows Vargas as he walks away, grabbing his arm and walking him to a police cruiser. That officer tells a uniformed officer, identified by police as Officer Ted R. Rivera, to arrest Vargas for disorderly conduct. A man recording the incident shouts that Vargas was practicing his freedom of speech.

While handcuffed, Vargas begins shouting obscenities and resists efforts to be placed into the cruiser. Rivera is then seen putting his hands on Vargas’s neck for roughly 10 seconds.

A crowd that had gathered erupts into frantic shouts. A woman can be heard telling Vargas to get into the car. Vargas is then pushed into the back seat, and the officers can be seen pushing people away from the cruiser.

“He wouldn’t go into the car and the officer involved was struggling,” Evans said at a news conference originally scheduled to announce a donation for new police bicycles. The officer “put his hands around his neck trying to push him . . . back down in the car. There clearly was no real choking going on there,” Evans said.

But Vargas’s attorney said the officer’s hands should never have been around the teen’s neck and the young man should not have been arrested.

“There was no probable cause to place him under arrest,” said attorney Stephanie Soriano-Mills. “He did not do anything wrong. . . . Because he said things that the officers did not like, an officer puts his hand around my client’s neck and begins squeezing? That’s not allowable by way of the policies and procedures listed in excessive force.”

He's lucky; got a guy shot dead a few months back.

Evans said Vargas was disturbing the peace.

“When you’re agitating the crowd to the point where they’re setting in on the police, then to me that rises to the level of obviously being disorderly and disturbing the peace,” Evans said. “He was out there in the middle of the street yelling and screaming . . . there’s little kids around, it’s broad daylight — to me that’s an issue.”

Except the paragraph above made it sound like the public was supporting the police, not Vargas? 

What's up, Bill?

Soriano-Mills said Vargas lives in Roslindale but declined to say what took place before the video began or what caused Vargas to begin shouting profanities. She said the video likely was shot Aug. 16, and Vargas was arraigned the following day.

Evans said officers were near Archdale Village, a public housing development, making arrests following a drug deal. There had been an uptick in violence in the area, including a homicide in late July, Evans said.

Two people from Norwood had allegedly come to the neighborhood that day to purchase drugs, Evans said. The commissioner said Vargas had nothing to do with that incident.

As officers were leaving a parking lot, Evans said, Vargas was on a bike when he blocked a cruiser and traffic on the street before launching a barrage of profanities.

A plainclothes officer is seen in the video recording the crowd. Evans said the Drug Unit videotapes for investigative purposes, observing who is around during drug deals.

Boston police said they have launched an investigation into the incident.

The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned the officers’ actions. Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said Monday the officers used excessive force and had no basis to arrest Vargas.

The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, a prominent minister, said there will be a community meeting Wednesday at the Baker House in Dorchester to talk about the video, followed by a 10 a.m. news conference.

“The message we’re looking to communicate is that there are some issues in terms of the conduct of our young people which are not first and foremost law enforcement issues, but family and community’’ issues, Rivers said, adding that the officers showed restraint. “This young person needed a whole bunch of home training. Had this happened in Baltimore, he might end up on a stretcher, had this happened in Chicago we might be coming to see him at a morgue . . . this young man was simply arrested.”

Like I said, he was lucky.

How sad is that, huh?

Evans said Rivera is a 30-year veteran of the force assigned to the department’s West Roxbury police station.

According to police records, Rivera has had three citizen complaints regarding use of force, disrespectful treatment, and offensive language, with the latest filed in 2001. The department launched an internal investigation in 2006 for unbecoming conduct. The disposition of the citizen complaints and the outcome of the internal investigation were not immediately available Tuesday night.

Evans described Rivera as a “great cop” and said the public should be alarmed by how the officers were treated.

“We do a dangerous job, and we don’t deserve the type of treatment that we got in this particular incident,” Evans said. “It’s sort of lousy that the focus isn’t on the behavior of that young kid.”

Yup, the poor Boston police.

Evans said excessive force complaints are down by 62 percent over the last five years, with the number of complaints declining to 20 last year.

Evans said he will hold a meeting Wednesday at police headquarters with clergy, civic leaders, and elected officials to discuss the video.



"On his Facebook page, 18-year-old Elvin Vargas boasted about the video, noting the “half million views” and urged people to keep sharing it.... Police, clergy meet to discuss video of Boston officer."

Oh, he's a publicity-seeking shitter! 

I know, I know, stunning development.


Clergy, residents, and officials walk for peace in Roxbury
Neighborhood walk in Roxbury promotes peace
Braintree schools to have faster pipeline to police

Prepare for some Fire Drills.

Two officers hospitalized after separate drunk-driving accidents
Driver faces OUI charge after striking officer’s cruiser

Suspect in custody in fatal Cambridge shooting
Six charged in drive-by shooting incident in Methuen

Drug Deal Leads to Deadly Shootout in Dorchester

"Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has ruled that a plainclothes Boston police officer was justified in fatally shooting a 20-year-old man in Dorchester in 2013 after the man opened fire on the officer and his partner."

Was it Dookhran?

Drug War Making a Killing in Boston 

Who is that City Councilor that won't shut up?

Also seeWorcester SWAT Knocked on Wrong Door

Happened in Haiti, too:

"Long-lauded ex-city officer killed in Haitian homeland" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  August 27, 2015

A retired Boston police officer and prominent member of the city’s Haitian community was shot and killed Wednesday in Haiti amid mysterious circumstances that left a trail of questions from Massachusetts to the Caribbean.

Yves Dambreville, 66, died on a road in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, sending shock waves through Boston and prompting condolences from politicians and community activists who knew the retired officer as the consummate builder of bridges between communities.

Dambreville, a Vietnam War veteran, had retired to his homeland after four decades as a fixture in Boston’s Haitian community, including stints as City Hall’s liaison to the group under mayors Raymond L. Flynn and Thomas M. Menino.

In Haiti, Dambreville was working on two projects, which he viewed as his crowning achievements, according to friends: nurturing a network of services tailored to the rural poor, and building his dream retirement home, which he had worked on for four years.

“I’m still in shock,” said Mona Borges, a friend of the Dambreville family in Massachusetts. “All I kept thinking about is that he went to Vietnam and came back alive. He chased criminals in Boston and stayed alive. Why did he have to go home and die?”

Friends said that at the time he was shot, Dambreville was with another man, identified in Haitian press reports as Jean Nesly Lucien, who also was wounded and remained hospitalized Thursday. Those reports said Lucien was a former national police chief in Haiti.

Details of the shootings remained murky Thursday night. Dambreville’s wife, Ingrid, and four children could not be reached for comment. The State Department said late Thursday it had no immediate information about the shooting.

Earlier this month, the department updated its warning about travel in Haiti, urging US citizens “to exercise caution when visiting Haiti given Haiti’s weak emergency response infrastructure.”

In Boston, Dambreville was known in the Haitian-American community as the go-to problem solver, friends said. He had the ear of both politicians and people in the neighborhoods.

Brian Concannon, executive director of Boston’s Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, described Dambreville as “one of those people who is always helping people out.”

Marie St. Fleur, a former state representative and the first Haitian-American to hold public office in Massachusetts, said Dambreville had an integral role in organizing Boston’s first Caribbean carnival in 1973.

One of Dambreville’s friends, Jacques Borges, said Dambreville brokered a key meeting between members of the Haitian community and Flynn. That meeting led to the annual Haitian flag-raising ceremony at City Hall and the Haitian-American Unity Parade, Borges said.

Dambreville, who became a US citizen, cofounded Haitian-Americans United, a Boston nonprofit dedicated to forging community engagement.

In a statement, Flynn described Dambreville as a friend and a builder of community spirit.

Police are such better people than the regular public.


Jacques Borges called for greater protections for Haitian-Americans when they travel to their native land, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake in 2010 and faces endemic poverty and corruption. Dambreville’s brother died after visiting Haiti, Borges said.

State Department records show that a dozen US citizens died in homicides in 2014 in Haiti, with most of those killings happening in Port-au-Prince. A Harvard University health worker was killed in July 2014 as she was just starting a visit to her native Haiti.

In 1997, Dambreville helped investigate the fatal shooting of a Haitian-American couple in the island nation. At the time, he told the Globe that local police “had no resources, no transportation to go interview suspects, no radios to communicate among themselves.”

St. Fleur, the former state representative, saw Dambreville in Haiti two months ago. She said he was excited to be in the country, where he detailed plans for continuing his community activism in Haiti.

“As I sat with him in June, he was still figuring out how he could help people,” St. Fleur said. “He had retired, but he never retired from helping people.”

Because of him, more immigrants of color could break barriers, she said, and that legacy continues today....

Jacques Borges smiled as he remembered the last time he saw Dambreville, when he visited Boston this summer to update friends on the progress of construction at his retirement home.

Dambreville had named a street “Khalil Way” in Haiti, after his son, Borges said.



Details of retired Boston officer’s death sought

Retired Boston officer killed in Haiti may have been robbery victim

He was just trying to make Haiti better

It was some sort of phone scam for ransom that went bad.

Ex-officer charged in Somerville police break-in

At least you don't live in Hartford or Springfield.

Mayor seeks to ban unmarked replica handguns

Then they will just use scissors.

Man shot in face in Malden in possible ‘unprovoked’ attack

Rental cars being used in shootings to elude police, officials say

Tracked 'em back to Brockton.

3 men arraigned in fatal July shooting in Dorchester

"Boston police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding suspects connected to two sexual assaults that occurred in the area of Brighton Avenue in August. The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic man, about 25 to 35 years old, wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a backpack. The suspect was last seen fleeing the scene, toward the direction of Commonwealth Avenue. A man whose appearance broadly matched the description of the suspect was recorded on a security camera in the area, and police are circulating the image in hopes of identifying him. Police described him as a “person of interest’’ in the investigation."

Time to get out of Boston:

"Officer being sued is arrested at Gillette Stadium concert" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff  August 31, 2015

A Transit Police officer who is being sued for allegedly violating the civil rights of a Roxbury woman was arrested on assault and resisting arrest charges by Foxborough police at a country music concert Friday night at Gillette Stadium, police said.

It's not the same Jennifer Garvey I know, is it?

Jennifer Garvey was arraigned Monday in Wrentham District Court along with an estimated 50 other people arrested by police at Gillette during the two days that Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean performed at sold-out concerts.

Alcohol a factor?

Foxborough Police Chief Edward T. O’Leary said in a telephone interview that Garvey arrived at the stadium on Friday and began to argue with security staff there, a disruption that eventually led to her being arrested by Foxborough police on a charge of disorderly conduct.

O’Leary said that while Garvey was in the temporary holding cell at the stadium she allegedly assaulted another woman who had been taken into police custody. Garvey identified herself to police as a Transit Police officer, he said.

Thinking that would get her a break (it did before).

Garvey was charged with two counts of assault and battery, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, according to David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office. She pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on personal recognizance.

Despite the propensity to brandish a gun at people?

The woman that Garvey allegedly struck was treated by paramedics and did not require hospitalization, according to O’Leary.

Garvey is currently being sued by a Roxbury woman, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, for allegedly violating the woman’s civil rights during a confrontation between the two women and a male Transit Police officer at the Dudley Square station in March 2014.

She is on paid administrative leave following her arrest earlier this year on charges of domestic violence involving her wife. Garvey has pleaded not guilty to those charges. 

Garvey is gay?


That photograph of the poor cop is enough to make you choke up and cry.

You smell something?

"South Boston residents can expect increased police activity Tuesday morning as public safety and transportation agencies carry out chemical incident drills. The exercise will train authorities on how to respond if there is a chemical release in a subway station. Agencies including the MBTA, along with Boston police, fire, and Emergency Medical Services will participate. The training takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Paul S. MacMillan MBTA Emergency Training Center on Foundry Street, though state transportation officials warned there could be increased activity in the area as early as 8 a.m."

The Boston subway has enough problems without a drill going live again, and maybe I'll choke down some chow on a boat then.

NDU: Police academy plaque honors former mounted unit commander