Not what I had intended to begin my month with, but with a coffee in hand the cream and sugar of today's Globe is the “worker-owned cooperative of the fair trade movement,” jwho is looking to change the world a dollar at a time (Globe took it back or was it the hacking threat?). They spiked it with a few pills this morning that were really hard to get down, and it looks like pharmaceuticals are a nice pipeline for theft to me. Glad Patrick borrowed a billion bucks to give 'em. Now we know where it's going to go.
"Police probe alleged intimidation of man who videotaped officer" by Evan Allen Globe Staff April 30, 2015
The 61-year-old man was standing on a Roxbury street, filming Boston Police as they stopped a teenager, when a sergeant walked toward him and waved what appeared to be a seized firearm. The 2½-minute film is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation.
The gun was a realistic-looking toy, according to police. But civil rights advocates and the man who recorded the video say it does not matter that it was fake because it appeared real and because the sergeant’s actions caused the photographer to feel threatened.
The video shows the sergeant questioning the man about why he was videotaping. The sergeant saidhe did not consent to be taped. Then, the sergeant walks over and holds the gun close to the camera, saying, “That’s why we’re here.” The sergeant does not point the gun at the man.
Kind of short circuits the cameras on cops thing, huh?
“His intention was to put that in my face and produce fear. That was his intention,” said the man, who asked to be identified by the name Brother Lawrence because he said he feared retaliation for speaking out. “I thought my life was in jeopardy there.”
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said he was “disturbed” by the video, which was posted to the police accountability website CopBlock.org.
“As commissioner, I want to extend my apology to the individual for the behavior of my officer,” Evans said. “This type of behavior is not indicative of the type of behavior that I expect of my officers. I hope to use this as a teaching moment moving forward.”
All's forgiven, right? It's a good thing. Lemon into lemonade.
The sergeant involved, Henry Staines, has been counseled that citizens have a constitutional right to videotape officers doing their jobs, Evans said, and an internal affairs investigation has begun. Staines is expected to meet with Lawrence, Boston NAACP President Michael Curry, and Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross on Friday, and a reminder has gone out to all officers that citizens can legally videotape them, Evans said.
I'll bet he didn't expect all the PC ramifications.
The video was taken Monday on Edgewood Street, after police responded to a 911 call about two boys playing with a gun, which turned out to be fake. Both boys ran. The boy depicted in the video was 14, according to police.
Evans said Staines was acting in frustration, as replica guns pose a danger. They are increasingly popular among youths, Evans said, and with tensions over police shootings high nationwide, Staines was upset at the thought that officers could have shot a child over a fake gun.
Like in Cleveland (trial coverage just died, and where was the outrage then?).
The video, shot across the street from police, shows officers standing around the boy. Staines walks over and asks Lawrence if he is filming, then says, “Want to jump in the cruiser with us someday? Drive with us?”
“Why do you say that?” Lawrence asks.
“I don’t know, just thought you might be interested in getting some real-life footage,” replies Staines, whose face is not shown in the tape at that moment.
Lawrence asks if there is anything wrong with what he’s doing, and Staines replies, “No, I just always question when you’re taking video of us.” As the camera pans toward Staines’s face, Staines says, “I’m not giving you my permission to film me.”
He doesn't need it.
What an ignorant thug who feels he's above the law.
Staines walks away, but a few moments later, he can be heard off camera saying, “Here, photo guy — No, no, no, don’t put the video down, put it up, this is why we’re here.”
Staines is shown striding toward Lawrence with the replica gun held aloft.
“See that, see that, that’s why we’re here,” Staines says, pressing it directly to the lens of the camera. “Have a good day. Bye.”
Doesn't look friendly to me.
Staines walks away. A few seconds later, an officer off camera can be heard telling Lawrence that the person being arrested is a juvenile who did not consent to being filmed. The video ends.
Does he have to? There are a lot of things kids can't consent to because we, as a society, have agreed they lack the judgmental skills to make those calls. Then it turns out the state protectors are the worst offenders.
Lawrence said he was afraid he would be arrested or injured. He said he knew it was his constitutional right to film police, but ultimately shut his video off because he felt the police were “feeling antagonized,” and he was by himself.
As long as authority gets what it wants. Bye!
Lawrence said he thought the gun was real, and advocates said that because it looked real, it did not matter that it was fake.
“It’s all about perception,” said Curry, of the NAACP. “If you walk up and say, ‘Hey, here’s a BB gun I took off this kid,’ and you say it loudly as you approach, maybe you minimize it. But the officer’s tone was very upset, he was very bothered that he was being videotaped, and he wanted to indignantly say, ‘This is why we do this work.’ ”
You are getting mine.
Curry said the video was disturbing because it showed Staines was either ignorant of or ignoring a citizen’s constitutional right to film police, and because Staines’s “emotional state” created a toxic and adversarial relationship.
Authority thrives on that.
“Turn this around, make that observer do something like that to one of those police officers. Would he be arrested?” said Carl Williams, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. “In communities of color, people feel frustrated. They think, ‘How come we have to obey the law, and the people who are telling us to obey the law don’t?’ Whether or not that view is true, I think it crushes people’s souls to say, ‘Why do we have to live like this?’ ”
According to a log of internal affairs investigations provided to the Globe, Staines has had nine cases against him between 1993 and 2014. None of the allegations against him were sustained or confirmed, according to a police spokesman.
Lawrence said he wants Boston Police to make a public service announcement telling Bostonians of their right to videotape police.
“I want to see this as an opportunity to have some freedom,” said Lawrence.
Thomas Nolan, an associate professor in criminology at Merrimack College and a former Boston Police lieutenant, said the video cast police in an unfavorable light. But he noted that, overall, the command staff has developed good relationships in the community.
“Boston is emerging as a national model for how police agencies ought to respond to situations involving civil unrest,” Nolan said. “Something like this, I hope it doesn’t undermine all the good work they’ve been doing.”
Oh, it's the NATIONAL MODEL, huh?
So at odds with what I've been told by the Globe:
"Efforts for youth in Boston help ease disparities" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff May 01, 2015
Organizations like YouthBuild Boston are laying the foundation for community and opportunity, helping prevent what happened in Baltimore.
Boston and Baltimore share much, but their differences are stark.
Both are port cities similar in population size. Both are defined by their neighborhoods. Both are places where the chasm is vast between the haves and the have-nots in housing, employment, education, and income. About 1 in 5 residents in both cities lives below the federal poverty line, according to Census data.
“It is Boston’s challenge to look ourselves in the mirror, instead of pointing fingers, to see similarities and a teachable moment in what’s happening in Baltimore,” said City Councilor Tito Jackson, whose district includes pockets of the city with double-digit unemployment. “What people should be seeing is not the physical destruction. What they should be viewing is the destruction that has already been caused in people’s lives, the disparities that are palpable.”
That's code for an agenda being rammed down your throat as the $tatu$ quo continues and the wealth gap widens by second, minute, hour, day, week, month....
Total median assets — home, car, retirement fund, life insurance — for a white family in the Greater Boston area is about $256,000; while total median assets for a black family is $700, according to a recently released report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
I'm tired of the pre$$ mouthpiece fronting for that cla$$ of people that continue to loot us all. I know it's the $y$tem we have, but I'm tired of those $erving them$elves breaking it down by race, gender, etc. If they truly cared about you and me, the world wouldn't be in the shape it is as they aggrandized more wealth all the way along.
And according to the Boston Public Health Commission, black and Latino residents are more likely to be hungry and unable to buy food; become victims of homicide; have higher rates of HIV; and suffer at higher rates from a host of medical conditions.
The impression is there are no poor white people.
Because, community leaders say, unless they are dealt with these issues simmer below the surface for decades, fueling hopelessness and anger that often overflows during contentious interactions with police.
I'm sure people were drawing attention the the problems all the way along. Fact is they were ignored by the authorities and ma$$ media that now mean you so well.
So police murders are now contentious interactions, 'eh? Nice euphemism.
“If it goes to the level of someone being killed and there are no consequences for the police, it’s a natural fuse for the despair that’s been turned into rage,” said Dorothy Stoneman, chief executive of YouthBuild USA, the organization’s national umbrella. “This is totally a national crisis.”
Meaning we should have a NATIONAL POLICE FORCE, huh? That's where this agenda is being pushed and why the pre$$ focus at this time.
The Roxbury-based nonprofit helps 14- to 24-year-olds, many of whom dropped out of school and some who have criminal records, earn GEDs and enter the trades. It is part of the city’s network of community organizations that city leaders say serve as a release valve to mounting tensions in Boston’s impoverished neighborhoods.
Related: "nonprofits provide new ways for corporations and individuals to influence"
Don't they have enough already? We all living by the goodwill of our overlords?
These groups teach marginalized youths collective action and civic engagement, said James Jennings, a noted specialist in race, politics, and urban policy at Tufts University.
“They give young people alternative responses in how to deal with their anger,” Jennings said. “When that happens, young people are less inclined to pick up a brick and throw it because they have been involved in community.”
The irony, he said, is that many of the groups that play a vital role in impoverished communities often find themselves struggling to keep the lights on and the rent paid.
There was a YouthBuild program in the Baltimore neighborhood where 25-year-old Freddie Gray was raised. It was shut down five years ago for lack of funds, Stoneman said.
Boston glimpsed these emotions in March after a gun-wielding suspect was killed by police, and some in the area reacted with rage.
See: When a Cop is Shot in Boston
The city did not erupt in flames like Baltimore or Ferguson, Mo., which became the sight of nearly constant protests — some violent — after a black unarmed teen was killed in August by a white police officer who was not indicted.
No agent provocateurs handy or were they told to stand down?
Law enforcement officials released surveillance video showing the suspect shooting the officer in the face.
“But for that video being released showing that he shot the officer in the face . . . many of us would have stormed Humboldt Avenue,” said Michael Curry, president of the Boston Chapter of the NAACP. “The anxiety and the frustration are there.”
But Curry and other city leaders, while acknowledging Baltimore’s black police chief and majority-minority police force, say Boston has some things that Baltimore does not.
Here, Curry said, “we now have a police commissioner and African-American chief who are willing to start to explore the taint of race in law enforcement . . . who are willing to explore where the hiring practices and behavior of the officer have impacted certain communities.”
That, he said, can lead to significant shifts in policing.
But mistrust remains.
“The police don’t really do their job when a black person is shot. They don’t really investigate,” said Britney Hickson, 17, a senior at Madison Park High School. “But let a white person in Somerville get shot, they will find that person.”
They do only solve about half the shooting crimes, the Globe told me, so it turns out "we" are not that much different after all.
At least Boston cops don't lie (probation and a $2,000 fine, that's it?).
A stain on Massachusetts:
"Three guards to face charges in Bridgewater patient’s death; Grand jury reverses ruling on ’09 case" by Michael Rezendes Globe Staff April 30, 2015
Three former guards at Bridgewater State Hospital will face charges of involuntary manslaughter and civil rights violations in the 2009 death of a young patient with schizophrenia, after a grand jury on Thursday reversed a six-year-old decision not to seek criminal charges.
The former correction officers — Derek Howard, John C. Raposo, and George A. Billadeau — were fired last year by Governor Deval Patrick after the Globe revealed that Bridgewater officials had violated a half-dozen laws, regulations, and policies in the death of Joshua K. Messier as Messier was forcefully strapped to a bed. The episode was caught on videotape.
Although Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz declined to bring criminal charges following Messier’s death, special prosecutor Martin F. Murphy said that he decided to seek the charges after conducting his own six-month review.
Messier was sent to Bridgewater for a psychiatric evaluation after staff at a private hospital near Worcester charged him with misdemeanor assault and battery. A month later, on May 4, 2009, he was dead. Prison video showed that Howard and Raposo “suitcased” Messier, pushing down on his back until his chest touched his knees while his hands were cuffed behind his back, contributing to what an autopsy concluded was heart failure.
The state medical examiner found that Messier’s death was a homicide and the video showed both that guards had handled him roughly and that clinicians had delayed crucial life-saving procedures.
Sounds so familiar.
Five years after Cruz’s decision not to pursue criminal charges, Attorney General Martha Coakley tapped Murphy to take a second look at the Messier case after it erupted into a major scandal in 2014, ultimately leading to the firing of state Correction Commissioner Luis S. Spencer. Murphy, in turn, requested a judicial inquest in which Judge Mark S. Coven reviewed the facts of the case.
Lisa Brown, Messier’s mother, said she was gratified by the results of Murphy’s investigation but also criticized state officials for providing treatment for her son in a prison, rather than a mental health facility.
“I’m grateful to special prosecutor Murphy for his pursuit of these charges,” Brown said. “While today is an important first step, there’s simply no moral basis to put innocent mentally ill men like my son Joshua into a correctional institution. It was and always will be wrong.”
Roderick MacLeish Jr., an attorney with the firm Clark, Hunt, Ahern and Embry who is representing Brown, said the special measures that were required to indict the guards underscore the difficulty of bringing charges against accused law enforcement officials.
“The Herculean efforts that have gone into this case amply demonstrate how difficult it is to hold law enforcement and correction officers to the same standards under the law as those applicable to ordinary citizens,” he said.
Maybe Boston could be a model.
But Kenneth H. Anderson, an attorney representing Howard, said the guards were treated unfairly by Coakley’s office, which initially defended them in a civil lawsuit filed by Messier’s mother and father.
Meaning there will be a “motion to dismiss in the near future.”
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a private mental health care provider, the Massachusetts Partnership for Correctional Healthcare, agreed to pay Messier’s parents $3 million to settle their lawsuit, but the lawyer who negotiated the deal said the pain lingers.
“It’s difficult to grapple with the fact that your son’s death might have been the result of criminal action,” said Benjamin R. Novotny, an attorney at Lubin & Meyer.
The indictments, which came three days before the statute of limitations for pursuing manslaughter charges was set to expire, are a rebuke to Cruz, who defended his actions on Thursday. Cruz said he had conducted “two exhaustive investigations” into Messier’s death, concluding each time that criminal charges were unwarranted.
Any e-mails that could help?
“I remain confident in the hard work my office did to arrive at a fair and just outcome in the investigation of the tragic death of Joshua Messier,” Cruz said in a news release.
Previously, Cruz has said he based his decision not to pursue charges against the guards on a private interview between his investigators and the state medical examiner in the case, Mindy J. Hull.
Cruz’s office said Hull had changed her mind about the case and had come to believe that Messier was responsible for his own death, citing the fight he started with the guards.
Right, it is always the dead guy's fault.
Coakley appointed Murphy in August after four prominent groups that advocate for persons who are mentally ill formally asked her to name a special prosecutor, accusing state officials of presiding over “a whitewash” of the circumstances surrounding Messier’s death. The Globe had reported that Department of Correction officials covered up the results of their own internal affairs investigation, which cited two of the guards for misconduct.
Cruz immediately denounced the appointment, but Murphy proceeded with his investigation, which was underwritten by his law firm, Foley Hoag. In January, he took the unusual step of calling for a judicial inquest into Messier’s death, which set the stage for Thursday’s grand jury indictments.
Inquests are used only on rare occasions to investigate homicides involving unusual circumstances. But Coven has now presided over three of the proceedings, including the inquest into the 1986 shotgun death of the brother of onetime Braintree resident Amy Bishop....
Getting a little sidetracked down memory lane here.
Oh, wow, kid was white. That's “not fair.”
Related: Bridgewater As Bad As Ever
Looks like TORTURE to me, but that is impossible in the great commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Can't even trust the child care or the food service in that town.
Is Baltimore that bad?
"Initial inquiry into Baltimore death completed" by Richard Pérez-Peña New York Times May 01, 2015
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore police on Thursday handed over to prosecutors the results of their much-anticipated initial investigation into the fatal injury suffered by a young man in their custody, including the discovery that a police van carrying the man made a previously undisclosed stop en route to a police station.
Another new wrinkle in the cover-up cover story.
The new stop turned up on video taken from “a privately owned camera,” said the deputy police commissioner, Kevin Davis. He added that it was “previously unknown to us,” but he did not elaborate.
His statement suggested that no police officers told investigators about the stop. Six officers have been suspended with pay over the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a lethal injury to his neck while in police custody.
So it's a paid vacation then?
Asked later whether the commanders were saying that officers had lied or covered something up, a Police Department spokesman, Captain J. Eric Kowalczyk, said, “It would be inappropriate for us to further comment.”
The handoff from police to prosecutors, in a city scarred by rioting, and still under curfew and patrolled by National Guard troops, opens a new phase in the case, and shifts the focus to the city’s new, relatively untested state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby. Her office, which acknowledged receiving the findings, will decide whether it has enough evidence to prosecute any of the officers involved; if so, it will present its case to a grand jury and ask for an indictment. If any criminal charges are brought, they could be months away.
“While we have and will continue to leverage the information received by the department, we are not relying solely on their findings but rather the facts that we have gathered and verified,” Mosby said in a statement. “We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system.”
I'll be patient, I'll be peaceful, but no way am I trusting the process of AmeriKan JU$tu$ anymore.
The conclusion of the police investigation came on a day when new protests against the police erupted in Baltimore and police clashed with demonstrators in Philadelphia.
In contrast to other cities that have been wracked by tension and protests over police confrontations with black men, Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, its police commissioner, Anthony W. Batts, and Mosby are all black, giving a somewhat different tenor to clashes between the power structure and its critics.
What it proves -- same with the religious leaders -- is the blacks are served by the same corrupt cla$$ we are. It's not gender or skin color; that is simply a cover to divert you from the real i$$ue: cla$$.
In a sometimes defensive appearance Thursday, Rawlings-Blake offered a heated rebuttal to criticism that she was not sensitive enough to the city’s poor and had not done enough to rein in police misconduct.
Being called out like I just did, and it is a point well taken.
Referring to herself, Mosby, and the nation’s new attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, the mayor said Thursday, “If, with the nation watching, three black women at three different levels can’t get justice and healing for this community, you tell me where we’re going to get it in our country.”
Depends on who those women are, and I'm sorry, the entire crop of leadership -- black, white, green, purple, Jewish, you name it -- has failed us all.
The disclosure of the additional stop by the van was the one new piece of information revealed Thursday by Davis and Batts, about what happened April 12, the day Gray was arrested after running from the police for possession of a switchblade.
Maybe he cut his own neck.
They held a brief news conference, took no questions, and offered no details to help gauge the disclosure’s importance. The additional stop does not, in itself, explain how Gray was hurt, or when, but some officials have speculated that he was injured while in the police van, or that the ride to the station worsened an earlier injury; others have said that video of his arrest appears to show him hurt even before getting into the vehicle.
Why is the truth so hard to come by in AmeriKa? WTF?
The Police Department handed over its findings a day ahead of the May 1 deadline Batts had set. And they arrive after days in which law enforcement and civic leaders sought to tamp down expectations they would announce major revelations about the death of Gray, who was black — much less a decision on whether to bring criminal charges.
I know. We were warned yesterday.
"Baltimore residents tell of years of friction with police" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff May 01, 2015
And ALL OF A SUDDEN the GOVERNMENT CARES! Stood by and facilitated all this time, but now cares!
BALTIMORE — The death of Freddie Gray, which is under investigation by the city’s top prosecutor, has been described as the final blow in what residents and local elected officials say have been decades of tension between the community and the police department, leading to more than a week of largely peaceful protests, a night of rioting and fires, and now, calls for change.
“From Eric Garner in New York City, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Florida, and now Freddie Gray in Baltimore... The culprits were not punished,” said the Rev. Duane V. Simmons, 54, head of the Simmons Memorial Baptist Church. “In this city, police have a culture of being unfair.”
Yeah, I saw that, and why are they dragging Trayvon into it?!!
The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to requests for comment on the claims made by the residents here, or relations with the community in general. The Baltimore Sun last year reported that the city had paid out $5.7 million since 2011 in lawsuits alleging police brutality.
On Thursday afternoon, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said state laws make it difficult for her to reform the troubled police department, but that she has asked the US Justice Department for help....
All about federalizing the police, making them even more distant and unaccountable. I mean it is not like the FBI or CIA have the greatest track records.
The community-police relationship was not always so fraught, residents and other elected officials said.
Around the 1980s, the police department transitioned from its “old school” style of policing, when officers walked regular beats, said City Councilor Bill Henry, who represents North and Northeast Baltimore. Officers began to spend less time on the streets and more time in their cars, mainly responding to calls, he said.
By the late 1990s, the city adopted a “zero-tolerance” policing policy after then-Mayor Martin O’Malley took a group of city councilors to New York City to see how the policing strategy was working there.
The result was a spike in arrests, Henry told the Globe during an interview at his district office this week. It also marked “the real beginning of when police were losing connection and credibility in these communities where most of the arrests were being made,” he said.
That won't help his presidential bid.
Simmons likened the strained police-community relationship to a pot that has been on the stove too long, and now the contents have exploded.
But it’s not just police behavior that has driven residents to the streets, many here say.
“These folks feel disenfranchised, disconnected, and the byproduct is violence at times,” said City Councilman Nick Mosby. “They wanted the world to see and feel their pain. We’ve been at war for so long.”
Oh, yeah, those overseas things.
The Penn North community is just minutes from downtown Baltimore and was once home to the city’s black elite. It’s now consumed by hopelessness, joblessness, and poverty.
They moved out and abandoned you as they got wealthy.
Parts of the neighborhood were damaged in the eight-day-long riots of 1968 that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. — damage from which the formally vibrant corridor has never recovered. Now, the neighborhood is home to block after block of abandoned, boarded-up rowhouses and open-air drug markets.
Related: A Moment to Remember Martin Luther King Jr.
In some ways, it's a good thing he's gone. He would be heartbroken looking at the devastating poverty and wealth inequality that has erupted.
In a recent victory, residents had teamed up with elected officials and lobbied hard for construction of a CVS on Pennsylvania Avenue, the only store of its size in the neighborhood. But the store was looted and burned down on Monday, hurting seniors who went to the pharmacy for medicine and others who relied on the store.
How about that CEO paycheck at the CVS store, huh?
“Obviously, they want to make a statement, but you don’t want to hurt your neighborhood in the process,” said Britney Johnson, 26, who joined a communitywide effort to help clean up the store and other damage on Tuesday.
“Baltimore . . . we’re resilient. We’re strong,” Johnson said. “We’re proud of our community, but to see this, you know there’s a certain level of desperation.”
The destruction has left this community divided, with mostly older residents fuming that rioters would damage their own neighborhoods.
Mission accomplished by the PTB then, and I'm in the later group.
“All of the chaos they were doing with everything they were doing . . . it was not going to bring that boy back,” said 77-year-old “Momma” Betty Yates, who lives about a block from the burned down CVS. “Why tear up your community?”
We know why.
Yates has lived in her three-story rowhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue for 40 years. On the night of the rioting, she locked her door, stayed in the house, and watched her television to see parts of the city burn as a helicopter buzzed overhead.....
She sheltered in place.
Also see: Martial Law in Maryland
Jail the.... MOMS?
"Violence as discipline is spectacularly counterproductive. In what other realm of human interaction would we have debates about appropriate levels of physical violence? Light spousal abuse, light assault, and light torture are wrong. Why is light violence against helpless children OK? As a society we’ve largely moved away from the infliction of pain as punishment. If a police officer punched Toya Graham’s son we’d be outraged (and for good reason). Why then do we condone the infliction of pain on a child by their parent?"
It's only productive when it comes to waging wars, it seems.
And in the midst of all this, the BIG EVENT of the WEEKEND is....
"Fight night in America, but not in Boston bars; Few bars spring for costly bout" by Callum Borchers Globe Staff April 30, 2015
For sports fans, this Saturday is the equivalent of Christmas. There’s the Kentucky Derby, the NFL draft, the NBA and NHL playoffs, a Red Sox-Yankees game. And to top off the day: the late-night boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, hailed as the fight of the century.
Violence is entertainment!
But Boston fans hoping to watch the bout at their favorite bar might well be out of luck. Many of the city’s most popular watering holes — including The Harp, The Fours, and Stats Bar & Grille — have made what may seem like a stunning decision not to air the long-awaited showdown between two all-time greats.
The reason is simple: Despite widespread interest, it’s just too expensive.
Mayweather-Pacquiao is smashing pay-per-view price records for at-home viewers ($99.99 for high definition), and the cost for businesses is astronomically higher.
Near TD Garden, For The Fours manager Jim Taggart and managers at other bars noted that Saturday is shaping up to be a lucrative day anyway, making a massive pay-per-view expense seem like an unnecessary risk. Beginning with the fourth round of the draft at noon, the sports extravaganza will last into the night, drawing thirsty fans and their credit cards.
Though boxing has fallen out of the mainstream in recent decades, this clash of the sport’s biggest stars — years in the making — has momentarily rekindled a level of mass appeal not seen since Mike Tyson was in his prime.
Some have called the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout a once-in-a-generation event.
Yes, we are an EVENT-DRIVEN WORLD now!
Even casual sports fans who may never have watched Mayweather or Pacquiao in the ring have witnessed their verbal sparring through the media since 2010, when they were first slated to meet. That bout fell through, with the boxers’ camps arguing publicly about drug testing, money, and who is scared of whom.
And wished I had not.
Now, hype and curiosity surrounding the revival of a match that seemed as if it might never happen has created what analysts expect to be the richest payday in boxing history — perhaps the richest in any sport, ever. Each fighter is expected to earn more than $100 million for 12 rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It could be over in one round. What a disappointment and rip-off that would be (it's happened before).
No concerns regarding wealth inequality in the whole entourage, 'eh?
Most of that money will come from the 3 to 4 million homes projected to buy the match on pay-per-view television. A small group of friends could gather at one house, split the cost, and each pay the equivalent of a movie ticket and popcorn.
Who goes to the movies these days?
But the math is not so simple for bars, which must make large upfront investments and then hope to sell enough food and drink to make the night profitable. Adding to the risk, managers said they would have to stay well under full capacity to ensure all patrons have a decent view of a TV screen, meaning they would need even more revenue from each guest to justify the expense of airing the fight.
Those taking the gamble are hedging their bets with eye-popping cover charges — in some cases more than people will pay to see the Sox and Yanks in person at Fenway Park.
Society on High in the Financial District, which has a 170-person capacity, sold tickets in advance and capped admissions at 120. Most were bundled as six-person tables which, combined with minimum food and beverage purchases, went for $775.
Lending an extra Vegas feel, a former Playboy Playmate will emcee the festivities, said Frankie Stavrianopoulos, Society on High’s creative director.
Where are the feminist protesters when you need them?
Stavrianopoulos expects to turn a profit when fight crowd spending is combined with sales during other sporting events earlier in the day. But he acknowledged that making arrangements to show the fight has caused him headaches and said he understands why others are avoiding it.
In fact, Stavrianopoulos is so worried that the bar’s occasionally spotty cable feed could go out at the worst possible time that he called DirecTV for an emergency satellite system installation that he expects to be completed by Saturday....
That's where it went out on me.
“I woke up [Wednesday] morning and my wife goes, ‘What happens if they can’t get DirecTV in there?’ ” Stavrianopoulos said. “I’m like, ‘Then I’m screwed. My reputation goes down the tubes.’ ”
At McGreevy’s, an Irish pub in the Back Bay, management decided to air the fight and treat it like a loss leader that may not be profitable on the day but that could pay dividends later. Owner Ken Casey, the Dropkick Murphys frontman, also owns a fight promotions company called Murphy’s Boxing, so there is a natural connection.
The bar paid $7,900 for Mayweather-Pacquiao and will charge a relatively modest cover of $25 per person at the door. Reservations are available but not required.
“This isn’t something we’d normally do,” said general manager Chuck Hitchcock. “The discussion was, ‘Is the publicity going to be worth the cost?’ Not necessarily from a dollars-and-cents standpoint, but we think there might be some residual value from the exposure.”
Without promotional considerations, managers elsewhere made a different call. Bill Fairweather, owner of The Greatest Bar near the Garden, said much of his 420-person venue was already booked for a Cinco de Mayo party, and he knew that crowd wouldn’t be willing to pay extra to watch Mayweather and Pacquiao.
The Cask ’n Flagon by Fenway Park originally planned to air the fight, even advertising a watch party on Twitter, but then backed out. Assistant general manager Phil Placide said other bars in the neighborhood subsequently announced their own showings, and management concluded the investment would have been worthwhile only if the Cask had a monopoly.
And at Stats in South Boston, general manager Lauren Creamer said the only way to afford the pay-per-view price would have been to charge an exorbitant cover, and “we don’t like to do that.”
With so many bars opting out, fight night in Boston could be missing a communal aspect that once characterized such a spectacle. Thirty years ago, some 14,000 people packed the old Boston Garden to watch Marvin Hagler beat Tommy Hearns in one of the biggest boxing matches of that era.
On Saturday, seats at the new Garden will be empty.
You can also watch the fights on Friday night.
No worry about concussions or anything, huh, given that Ali is a vegetable.
Related: Beer For Breakfast
I'll be too drunk to blog the rest of the day.