Boston Cops Just LOLing About Hitting Innocent People With Cars, This Seems Fine
The police were genuinely upset after George Floyd's death. Sure, a fellow officer had killed a man in cold blood, but people just wouldn't let it go. We demanded accountability, maybe some modest changes in policing. Now, suddenly, the police were the victims. You could see how hurt the police's feelings were during the summer's protests when cops were often brutally violent, pepper-spraying people, even children, and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at reporters.
Boston-area attorney Carl Williams is representing people arrested during demonstrations over May 31 and June 1. As part of his discovery, he received 66 hours of body camera footage. He and his team were searching for exculpatory evidence, but what they found was horrifying.
The footage, which Williams released to the Appeal, reveals Boston police "bragging about attacking protesters, targeting nonviolent demonstrators for violence and possible arrest, discussing arrest quotas and the use of cars as weapons, and multiple instances of excessive force and liberal use of pepper spray."
"It's this mob mentality," Williams said of the police behavior. "And I use 'mob' as a sort of a double entendre—mob like the mafia and mob like a group of a pack of wild people roaming the streets looking to attack people."
Richard Pryor once observed that mob stories “consisted of motherfuckers who died funny that they killed." This one Boston cop in the below clip sounds like Tommy DeVito joking around with his fellow wiseguys.
“This individual appears to be taking pleasure in the fact that this happened or is gloating. I’m a member of law e… https://t.co/r0McMHlDe2— Eoin Higgins (@Eoin Higgins)1608312032.0
Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley said that “the inexcusable actions of officers in these disturbing videos make painfully clear why our communities are standing up, speaking out and demanding decisive action to combat public health crisis that is police brutality in our nation."
That's right: The sister called police brutality a “public health crisis." She's good.
The unidentified police sergeant in the clip bragged about using an unmarked state police cruiser to mow down nearby protesters. “I'm fucking hitting people with the car." The police will justify this by claiming he was just pushed to the brink by all the criming. However, reporters are routinely treated like crap, especially by the Trump administration, and they don't retaliate with reckless, malicious libel. They're expected to keep their cool and do their jobs like fucking professionals.
"As soon as these videos were brought to my attention, I immediately ordered my Bureau of Professional Standards to open and conduct a thorough and fair investigation into this matter, and the totality of circumstances involved," Police Commissioner William Gross said in a statement Friday night.
Sure. These are likely the same sort of “professional standards" that cleared a Seattle cop who “accidentally" sprayed tear gas into a child's eyes.
New York City's Department of Investigation released a report Friday that concluded the NYPD also used excessive force during protests this summer. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who's useless, had earlier defended cops who ran an SUV into people exercising their constitutional rights. The police still hate him. Now, he agrees with the report's findings and said it "makes very clear we've got to do something different, and we've got to do something better."
The NYPD, whose union endorsed Donald Trump, will willingly do neither.
Cops using vehicles as deadly weapons isn't unique to the Acela Corridor. Over in Kansas, dash cam video revealed a sheriff's deputy running over a Black man with his patrol truck. Lionel Womack miraculously survived and later sued over the August 15 assault. Cops really couldn't play it cool in the summer immediately following George Floyd's death. It's like when I gave up alcohol along with my wife when she was pregnant but I just couldn't stop drinking coffee. Terrorizing Black people seems like caffeine for cops.
Womack said in a statement that he hadn't been speeding nor was he under the influence of anything when he was initially pulled over. His driver's license, insurance and registration were up to date.
"When the first officer turned his lights on, I pulled over and complied ... exactly as you're supposed to. But when three additional vehicles pulled up quickly and started to surround my car, I freaked out. That's when I took off, it was a 'fight or flight' moment and I was going to live," he said. "I felt like I was in danger. This was out in the country, late at night, and it was dark. So I ran for my life. That's what you see in the dashcam video. I'm running in an open field, and I'm scared."
Womack is a 35-year-old former police detective from Kansas City, Kansas. He knows from professional experience how quickly the thin blue line can become a thick noose around a brother's neck.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."