Controversy erupts over what happened after police found a naked Harvard student standing in the middle of Mass Ave.

A Harvard student faces a variety of charges, including indecent exposure and assault and battery on an EMT, for an incident last night in which Cambridge and Transit Police responded to a traffic island on Mass. Ave. at Waterhouse Street to find him standing there naked.

Both the Harvard Black Law Students Association and Cambridge Police agree the black undergraduate was standing on a traffic island on Mass. Ave. last night. But what the association says turned into a case of police brutality against a black man just standing there, if completely undressed, is what police say was an attempt to keep a hostile man on narcotics from harming himself, responding police officers and bystanders - and they charge the 21-year-old student resisted arrest and spit "a mixture of blood and saliva" on an EMT in the ambulance taking him to a local hospital for observation.

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Comments

Sounds like Drugs

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sounds like this young fellow had a bad reaction to some combination of illegal street drugs hopefully the courts understand

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Well, this seems like a simple case

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I mean, is it a crime to take off all of your clothes in a public area and throw them at passers by, then become combative when the police try to take you into custody? That is yet another example of this era of mass incarceration that we live in now. How dare the CPD step in when they see a naked person in the middle of a square. It's just wrong.

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I don't think anybody's objecting to that

How dare the CPD step in

I don't think anybody's complaining about CPD stepping in; I believe they're complaining about failure to de-escalate when dealing with a crazy person.

You and I have both been around enough to know that some police officers' de-escalation skills qualify them for an ambassadorship, and others are perennially itching for the opportunity to use force.

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Cambridge PD could learn from Boston

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This is exactly the kind of incident where the Boston PD has shown itself to be exemplary in using de-escalation techniques. The BPD commitment to training officers how to handle this type of situation has shown time and again that this kind of outcome isn't necessary. They have handled situations where the person out of control was armed with knives or guns with less damage to anyone than happened in this situation with an unarmed man.

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Nothing is always

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But a much higher proportion of the time than any PD I know of. And Cambridge cops have had the opposite reputation for decades.

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This young man

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Was simply trying to free himself of the white mans clothing.

When people play the victim in ridiculous stories like this it hard to sympathize with them.

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Exorcism

Does anyone know how to get rid of internet demons like this?

Its a minor one, but they are known to grow if not sent back to the lower levels of 4Chan and Stormfront.

Drugs

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I've seen COPS enough to know that people under the influence of drugs are very strong and don't follow orders. So after the guy doesn't listen and tries spitting at the officer, gentle treatment goes out the window. It'd be easier if the guy just followed the police orders.

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You think

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that dropping acid gives you super-strength? No wonder all the kids are doing it.

It's been a while, but I don't remember it that way. Super-paralysis, super-nervousness, super-stupidity, etc., yes, but none of that bit-by-radioactive-spider stuff.

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Stick to the swimmies

Yes. Swimmies make kids safe in water and drugs make people super human.

Must explain all the drownings of young men who have been drinking ... oh, wait ... didn't the alcohol make them super human and super strong enough to overcome not having swimmies?

Okay. Whatever.

Where are you getting that?

So after the guy doesn't listen and tries spitting at the officer,

No version of the story I've encountered has any mention of him spitting anything at anybody until well after "gentle treatment went out the window."

It's possible I misread one of the stories as I'm kind of bleary-eyed at this point.

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I saw him Friday night

My husband and I saw him Friday night, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes before the arrest. He was at the opposite end of the Common, and not yet fully naked, but wearing only underpants at that point.

As a matter of fact, we had just crossed Mass Ave at the very spot where he was arrested, and I can understand why the police might have been anxious to get him under control and away from there as quickly as possible - the median island is narrow and the street widens there. No excuse for gut-punching him when he was already down, but I can see why they might have been afraid of him running into traffic.

(BTW, note to Cambridge Public Works: the pedestrian lights at that intersection are among the few in Cambridge that are still on-demand only, and the button for crossing Mass Ave from the Common side of Waterhouse Street is broken. Earlier in the evening we waited through 3 full light cycles before giving up and making a run across the street.)

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Ridiculous

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He was experiencing most likely a drug induced psychosis, which makes people veey dangerous and prone to uncontrollable violent behavior, and was getting his possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders. He was not seriously harmed by police. They got him under control so he could be appropriately arrested and removed from a situation where he could harm himself and others.

It's crap like this that makes people question ever charge of racism. To black advocacy groups: When was the last time you saw white advocacy groups (are there any?) or white people in general, get upset when a similar situation involving a white person happens?

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Yeah!! There is a white advocacy group!

It's called the American justice system and it has a very loud voice! Ask any black person who was shot carrying a cell phone.Or talked back. Or didn't talk back.

Oh, that's right, you can't, some of them are dead!!

And while you're at it, can you diagnose the sudden erection in my middle finger?

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Possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders?

You must not drink with EMT/firefighter types if you think that's a big deal to them. They fucking bathe in the stuff AND will TELL you about it!

As if any given person pulled from a wrecked car is NOT getting possibly infected bodily fluids all over everyone.

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Help me out

and was getting his possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders.

By pointing out where the accounts refer to him spitting on anybody prior to the violent arrest?

Oh, and also,

To black advocacy groups: When was the last time you saw white advocacy groups (are there any?) or white people in general, get upset when a similar situation involving a white person happens?

That's a B- or C+ troll there. Here on this planet, advocacy groups are rarely formed to protect groups that generally have most of the advantages.

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Good thing

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Good thing we got all of these experts in dangerous situation intervention here on UHub. I can only imagine where we would be without their armchair expertise.

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Good Kid Bad Night

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Obviously he was in some sort of situation where he wasn't in his right mind obviously it required police intervention im pretty sure in a court all charges will be dismissed or worse case scenario continued without a finding

HBLSA statement sounds rather entitled

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What the police did is called pain compliance; that is, they physically hurt you (not life endangering) to get your full attention and cooperation (compliance.) He was experiencing serious pssychosis. They did bothing wrong and prevented worse things from happening. Why didn't members of the HBLSA who witnessed the incident try and pacify the man and secure him at a safe location?

And the Cambridge City Manager statement is cringe-worthy.

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Not acceptable

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Never acceptable.

There is another word for "pain compliance" by the way ... IT IS CALLED TORTURE

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Logical fallacy alert

Specifically "the ends justify the means" is a classic logical fallacy, one particularly favored by people who advocate for brutality as being acceptable means of "getting things done".

Major sections of the US constitution were set up to counter that, as were many amendments - you might look into that, and the body of case law around it.

And you might look into

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And you might look into teaching at Police Academies across the country so you can teach them HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE!

You obviously now, kind of selfish to not share your expertise on policing with all these woefully inadequate departments.

How about some statistics, darling

Or, maybe, ask yourself: How many problems has Cambridge had with this versus other local departments?

I don't need to offer expertise to point out that there are serious differences between departments and very well documented problems with how Cambridge PD has been handling these cases - problems that anyone with a pulse who doesn't have their nose shoved squarely up the nearest blue ass should notice.

IN THE MEANTIME my expertise IS in PUBLIC HEALTH, and this maim/murder/torture = "policing" bullshit of the sort you advocate is a MASSIVE public health problem in the US: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/key-issues/criminalization-of-men...

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But I still don’t understand

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But I still don’t understand why if you have all the solutions (or links at least), you didn’t join the Cambridge Police.

Or any police.

You clearly have all the answers. You, and not these officers, clearly would have been able to diffuse this situation. You know how it should be done. Yet you refuse to impart your infallable knowledge of urban policing on the departments. America is very violent and we need your sage wisdom, bravery and intellect teaching our police how to do it right!

I bet you wouldn’t even need a firearm. I bet you would be able to handle every crisis the police respond to and no one would get hurt, especially you. Share the answers!! Go out there and patrol in an urban environment because I believe you are the only one that can make us safe.

It's "defuse"

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You really shouldn't use words whose meaning you don't know.

You are an idiot

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She didn't say she had solutions - but Bob did note that they can be found across the river.

She pointed out a very well documented problem. You are too dim to understand that.

Do you have any actual arguments

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Or are you going to continue making stuff up that nobody said in order to avoid the actual issues being raised here.

Nose shoved up the nearest blue arse, indeed.

Yeah, no, wrong.

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So, on the one hand, you want to say that "[h]e was experiencing serious pssychosis", thus justifying the use of force, and on the other hand you want to claim that he was rational enough to respond to "pain compliance". That's just plain laughable. I train in a martial art that uses joint locks, I've trained with a LOT of people, and I can tell you that "pain compliance" is bullshit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes you're dealing with someone who just doesn't care. If, as you assert (got a cite?) Cambridge PD is actually teaching "pain compliance" as a method of controlling a violent person, then that's just plain stupid.

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"Pain Compliance"

"Pain compliance" may be bullshit as means of controlling a crazy person, but it's an awesome way to get your bully rocks off in a safe state-sanctioned manner.

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When I was a wide-eyed

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When I was a wide-eyed freshman, a senior gave me some good advice:

If you find yourself naked in public, with the Harvard police coming towards you from one side and the Cambridge police from the other, head for the Harvard police.