Cops investigating cops. It’s time for a real Citizens Review Board.
The initial story: video shows an off duty Boston Police Officer roughing up a civilian
The following appeared on BostonGlobe.com:
Evans defends officer in Back Bay pedestrian incident
The Boston Globe Date: Sep 21, 2016
If you cannot read the above link, this comment by a person with the tag of Oceanlover617 summarizes the problem.
Imagine you are Mr. Gurin, an unassuming, 64-year-old law-abiding man who has just put in a hard day’s work. Like the rest of us, you are a kind and loving man who supports your family, are loyal to your friends, and love the city in which you live and pay taxes. Sure, you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or two, and there was that parking violation when the parking meter was broken, but those are pretty much the only smudges on your citizenship record. You’re fatigued and walking home and, whether it’s your fault or not, you’re nearly hit by a car in an intersection; “fight or flight” kicks in and, in a nanosecond, you lose your temper and tap on the car’s window with your umbrella. Suddenly, a furious, brawny man in a Red Sox jersey jumps out of his car (which, by the way, is NOT a cop car, so you have no way of knowing he’s a cop) and starts screaming at you. Realizing this man’s fury dwarfs yours after being cut off by his car and, realizing he’s approximately half your age, twice your size and screaming angrily, you run for your life, zigzagging your way through pedestrians on a busy Boston street. You trip and fall, injuring yourself. Instead of rendering aid, this man’s knee is in your back and you are being held down to the ground. “How dare you challenge my power by tapping on my window with an umbrella, don’t you know who I am?” Is this what the officer (or in the eyes of Chief Evans, presumably “soldier,” as you are later referred to as a “civilian”) was thinking? Infuriated and emboldened by the fact that he wears a badge to work, the man starts humiliating you by dragging you down the street by your shirt collar in a makeshift “perp walk” witnessed by dozens, hundreds of people (including one of your co-workers) on one of the busiest streets in Boston. As is proven on cell phone video, you remain calm and respectful the entire time, even when dozens of BPD officers converge on the scene as if you’ve just committed armed robbery. The officers take the cop’s side of the story, not yours, and the cop realizes the window of the personal car he drives as a “civilian” is smudged, not broken or even scratched. You consider this a major event but proceed with caution, filing a complaint against a public servant who behaved inappropriately. You discover this is not the first complaint filed against this officer. One day, the boss of the police department you have trusted to defend and protect you calls a press conference to discuss the “exhaustive investigation” that has occurred. The chief figuratively throws you under the bus (perhaps in the same intersection where the incident began), sullying your name and reputation in order to protect a man who obviously is prone to these types of incidents and outbursts. Remarkably, he produces video to counteract the video shot and posted by a “civilian” who witnessed the incident (perhaps because the “civilian’s” video was viewed more than a million times on social media). You can’t believe your eyes or ears as the leader of your police force almost totally exonerates the actions of a man who clearly is a hothead, not a hero. The chief impugns the integrity of the “civilian” who shot the cell phone video and implies you are somehow to blame for not acting as quickly and impulsively as the off-duty officer did in that intersection. Sadly, when it dawns on you that this “exhaustive search,” that included interviews with other “civilians” who witnessed the event, would never have been conducted if this cell phone video had never surfaced. In that moment, what emotions would you feel? Anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Mistrust? Yesterday afternoon, human empathy transported us into the mind of Mr. Gurin; amazingly, we were let down by the very people we have idolized, trusted and paid to protect us. The chief called a press conference because he could, and local media carried it live because that’s what they do, and an entire region watched as the chief implied this was all your fault. You were hardly the Marathon bomber, yet you were feted with a BPD press conference. Boy, the BPD must have been livid that you would have the nerve to consult an ACLU lawyer and yes, you know they must have felt an extra sense of urgency to defend their own given recent officer-involved incidents around the country.
You were not fooled, and neither were we. This press conference was a classic “CYA” stunt, and this morning, we have a little less respect for Chief Evans and a little more mistrust for the people who report to him. It is sad and disappointing, but it is true. In this case, in this city in which we take so much pride, a city that was a beacon to the world for strength in adversity, the tables have been turned. Boston Wrong.
Thank you Oceanlover617, for taking the time to put this incident into the proper perspective. IMHO, the BPD does not care what the people of Boston think about them.
To all the officers who work really hard to keep us safe, I thank you. But, the “Blue Wall” has to come down. It is not you versus us. We are all in this together.