Fire Department reverses course, decides to fine Rise for overcrowding after all

Post update with further information from BFD.

This statement just in from Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser:

I have reviewed the evidence provided by the Boston Police Department regarding the events at the Rise nightclub as well as the documentation provided by my Nightclub Inspectors and have determined that the Rise was in violation of their posted capacity and have fined them accordingly. The Boston Fire Department takes overcrowding or any other violations of the fire code which would endanger the public's safety, very seriously.

Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said that even the club's own counters showed the club had exceeded its 292-person capacity by 25 to 30 people, and that the club was fined $100. He added the department told club owners yesterday they were free to re-open.

MacDonald said the department couldn't get into the dispute between the club and the police department over the exact number of excess people inside because its inspectors did not get to the club until most people had already left. Police allege 800 people were crammed into the club; the club says that is physically impossible.

In hindsight, MacDonald said, he shouldn't have told the Herald yesterday the department wouldn't cite Rise, because inspectors were still compiling their reports at the time.

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Commissioner Davis has a problem he should act on promptly

Attendance 12/31/2009

Rise 300

BFD 317-322

BPD +800

The officer who made the judgment that there were 800 people in the club and then used his law enforcement authority to clear the club based on that assessment was either lying or showed extremely bad judgment.

Either way Commissioner Davis has a problem and he should act on it promptly.

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Please fact check that, Adam

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Surely, you meant to write that their own counters exceeded the 292-person capacity "by 2500 to 3000 people".

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Kids?

18+ means membership is restricted to people who are legal adults.

Sorry if none of them asked you for special permission to attend and assemble in an entertainment venue. Also sorry if you wasted your own youth and now resent others enjoying same - or get a special tingly feeling by acting as if age somehow entitles you to bullying privileges.

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Why..thank you, Swirly!

If that is your long winded way of calling me an asshole. I've never denied in any posting in this forum that I am one. If you don't like my comments, don't read them. I only answer to one person here, and that's Adam.

Secondly, where did I ever state anyone needed my permission to do anything? I'll also refrain from making uninformed assumptions about what life as a bored hausfrau in the teeming metropolis that is Medford is like, if you refrain from making uniformed statements about how I spent my adolescence.

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Housefrau?

Nope. I gots me a bored househerr fer that stuff.

Your contempt for people younger than you is obvious and sad.

Meanwhile, that's Frau Doktor Swirrly to you.

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That's right, Swirly, and if I have my way..

next we'll keep that Elvis Presley fella from gyrating to the devil's music on the family friendly Ed Sullivan show.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get off the internet machine, because somebody here at the home needs to use the phone.

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Inzwischen ist das Frau

Inzwischen ist das Frau Doktor Swirrly zu Ihnen. Haben Sie eine Tochter, die Sie sich Gedanken?

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The other violations?

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So I wonder, does this mean that the other alleged violations were found to be untrue? Meaning the flammable decorations and exposed wiring? I think the exposed wiring would be up to Inspectional Services, and the Fire Dept. would rule on the decorations. I doubt the club would be allowed to re-open without correcting both.

Not to mention all the half-naked dancing girls.

Anyway, Adam, thanks for following this story. Cops like Keeler need the media checking on them.

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$100 fine = sorry for Keeler

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$100 fine = sorry for Keeler being an a-hole, carry on

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Adam

Is there any merit to the safety violation associated with the use of a barriers on the sidewalk or associated with the line waiting to get in, according to BFD or BPD?

This was the original issue the officer cited as why he entered the club.

Would a citation for this reason be one he would issue or of a type the BFD would issue? In either case, why (or why not) was it issued?

If it was not issued, was it not issued because it was not an accurate assessment or because it was an untruthful allegation?

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widest sidewalk in Boston?

At about 11:40pm, on Friday, December 31, 2010, officers and detectives from Area D-4 (South End) responded to 306 Stuart Street (Rise Club) for a dangerously large crowd and line extending the entire length of Stuart Street to the intersection of Arlington and Columbus Streets. Officers soon learned that the people in line were waiting and attempting to gain entry into an establishment called the Rise Club. Officers also observed a series of barriers that had, without consent or proper permission, been set up on the sidewalk creating an unsafe situation for pedestrians seeking to use it. Given the presence of the barriers, as well as the recent snow fall, the sidewalk, from what officers could determine, was deemed both unsafe and impassable. In an effort to remedy the unsafe conditions found on the sidewalk, officers and detectives entered the establishment to speak to employees of the Rise Club. Officers spoke to employees of the club who stated that the barriers belonged to them and they had, in fact without proper permits or permission, placed the barriers on the sidewalk in an effort to corral and control the line going into their establishment.

IMAGE(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk143/nfsagan/rise500.jpg)
wide shot

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speaking of barriers

ahhh - so that's where Rise is...

Funny comment in the original story of a cop thinking the barriers were a problem. I often walk home Saturday nights through the theater district; by the Marriott near the Shubert theater. The two clubs that flank the Marriott have barriers that take up half the sidewalk. But the other half of the sidewalk is taking up by smokers and the 'hang out' crowd. Add to that taxi's and other double parkers in the area, plus the Marriott's own barriers to try to keep the club rats away from the hotel entrance. That whole sidewalk is a disaster.

I often end up walking in the street because of the crowds. Of course, nothing is ever done about this - including a BPD officer that is often present to deter violence, but does nothing to actually make the area passable.

So I'm wondering how the Rise barriers were 'unsafe and unpassable' that one night, when there are other sidewalks that are impassable every weekend night. hmmmm

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Doesn't Viga have lines just

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Doesn't Viga have lines just as long during the lunch rush? If it happens after dark nothing good is happening. Continuing to push this city towards 2nd class status with our Puritanical police state

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Adam

I'm thirsty. Can you buy some cold beer and bring it over to my house for me?

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Adam

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What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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Detective who pursued killers

Detective who pursued killers relentlessly girds for one more courthouse donnybrook

By Jonathan Saltzman | January 14, 2005

As a lead homicide detective in Boston for 12 years, Sergeant Daniel M. Keeler weathered plenty of storms: a wrongful conviction of a murder defendant, a furor over his shooting a former convict in the head, and his outburst at a federal prosecutor, to name a few.

But last year was particularly turbulent for the hard-driving and controversial former Marine whose work on more than 200 murder cases earned him the moniker Mr. Homicide.

In the span of nine months, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against a Revere man who said Keeler railroaded him, jurors blasted his investigative tactics in a separate homicide case, and the detective admitted on the witness stand in another high-profile trial that his police report contained false statements.

Two reasonable concerns about Officer Keeler's police work

  • a wrongful conviction of a murder defendant
  • shooting a former convict in the head

Keeler left the homicide unit last spring, but remains a fixture at the Suffolk County courthouse as he testifies in numerous murder cases wending their way through the courts.

But he is a polarizing figure.

Admirers call him an indefatigable and compassionate detective with superb crime-fighting instincts.

Former Suffolk district attorney Ralph C. Martin II said Keeler "was respected for his work ethic and for his doggedness and his sort of willingness to look everywhere, look at every angle."

Defense lawyer Roger Witkin calls him one of the most intuitive cops he has ever met.

Critics charge that Keeler is an overzealous, self-righteous officer who twists facts and cuts corners to close murder cases, sometimes at the risk of arresting the wrong man.

Defense lawyer Rosemary C. Scapicchio, who represented James Bush when he was acquitted in November of murdering 3-year-old Malik Andrade Percival after Keeler conceded his police report contained inaccuracies, said Keeler refuses to consider other leads once he homes in on a suspect.

"He determines very quickly who he thinks did it, and . . . if there are other potential suspects out there, those leads are never followed up on," Scapicchio said.

Keeler called Scapicchio's criticism "nothing short of outrageous."

This is precisely what Commisioner Davis' "Bright Line Policy" was created to address

  • Keeler conceded his police report contained inaccuracies

Note to self: Keeler has a history in filing police reports with inaccuracies. You'd think he'd learn. Maybe this goes to jim thinking the ends justifies the means.

Detractors have accused Keeler of being a cowboy who believes the ends justify the means.

Oops, there it is.
.
.
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Defense lawyer sues Keeler for accusing him of lying in court?

Although several defense lawyers assail Keeler's police work, no one is as outspoken as Hrones, who seems practically giddy that his suit is going to trial.

Hrones, every bit as aggressive and controversial as Keeler, contends that the detective falsely accused him of lying to the state's highest court in 1998 while arguing for a new trial for his client, Donnell Johnson. Johnson was convicted in a 1994 murder, but was exonerated after serving five years in prison.

In arguments before the Supreme Judicial Court, Hrones said a colleague of Keeler's in the homicide unit committed perjury. Keeler responded in a Globe story that Hrones was "misrepresenting the truth, and he knows it."

Legal specialists say Hrones could face long odds, in part because he never specified how his reputation was damaged. The Suffolk Superior Court trial starts this morning.Keeler declined to comment on the merits of Hrones's lawsuit. But he has said in recent months that he is a victim of a smear campaign by Hrones and Scapicchio and by defendants utterly lacking credibility.

Keller's defense is that he was being smeared by a defense attorney and an assistant Suffolk County DA. OooooKaaaay. Now these are two adversaries in court, a defense attorney and a prosecutor yet Keller thinks "smear campaign" is what it was all about. I suppose from his point of view it could feel like a smear while from their point of view, he's responsible as charged. I'd love to read the decision. The article is from the day the trial, a civil action, started.

In a federal lawsuit Johnson filed after he was freed, he contended that Keeler and another detective buried evidence that could have cleared him. A judge dismissed the suit last year, but said the allegations were "deeply troubling."

If it's true Keeler helped get a conviction by witholding exculpatory evidence it is indeed deeply troubling. Our system of justice was designed to keep innocent people out of jail, even to allow nine guilty men to go free rather than put one innocent man behind bars.

Keeler also drew rebukes from some Boston residents for shooting a suspect in the head during a gun battle at a Roxbury intersection in 2002, a shooting investigators later deemed justified.

Last year was particularly rocky for Keeler. First, Suffolk County prosecutors cleared William Leyden of committing the 2001 decapitation murder of his brother, John "Jackie" Leyden. Keeler had speculated on the ABC series "Boston 24/7" about why Leyden killed his brother.

Then a jury stunned prosecutors in April by acquitting Kyle Bryant of murdering his 14-year-old girlfriend and her unborn child in 1999, even though he had told Keeler in a tape-recorded statement that he was present when she was killed.

Afterward, a juror accused Keeler of "haranguing" Bryant in the interrogation.

And then James Bush was acquitted in Percival's murder after Scapicchio successfully accused Keeler of sloppy police work.

Through it all, Keeler -- who can sound surprisingly thin-skinned, given his line of work -- vigorously defended his record.

He said Leyden was charged largely on the basis of DNA evidence before someone else confessed to the crime. He said his demeanor in Bryant's interrogation was warranted, given the gruesomeness of Jones's murder. And he faulted Suffolk prosecutors for failing to win convictions.

In the spring, Keeler was transferred to a night-shift assignment in the South End and Back Bay. Police Superintendent Paul Joyce said Keeler voluntarily made the move after spending 12 years giving "100 percent to the department, to the homicide unit, and to the families of homicide victims."

link

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Touch of Evil

I think Orson Welles made a movie that featured this sort of character prominently.

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