Yes, there are military-type helicopters flitting all over downtown, the South End and the harbor tonight. Boston Police acknowledge they're part of some training exercise involving the Defense Department and local police that BPD was really hoping nobody would notice, except it's hard to keep the local twitterati quiet when helicopters are afoot: Read more:
In a world gone mad, with Kumbaya-singing wimps serving as president and governor, they say officers need more protection and firepower, the Herald reports.
Meanwhile, the Globe reports no BPD officers have volunteered to test body cameras in a pilot slated for September, so the department will have to order 100 or so officers to put them on.
Mayor Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans today announced they have reached a deal with the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association for a six-month, $500,000 pilot to test body cameras worn by 100 volunteer officers.
However, no date for the beginning of the pilot - which advocates had once hoped would start this spring - was announced.
Start date of the pilot program, along with other specific policies related to body cameras, are in the process of being finalized by BPD.
The ACLU of Massachusetts today filed a federal suit against Boston Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley on behalf of two activists who say a state law that bans the secret recording of oral communications even in a public place violates their First Amendment rights.
Their lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, joins a similar suit against Conley filed in March by a right-wing activist who claims he wants to do a report on how landlords treat students in Boston. Read more.
Bill Forry knew Mike Baker from their days as teens at the Boys and Girls Club. Today, Forry writes about coming to grips with Baker's self-inflicted death last Thursday in his Adams Village home, about the anger, the grief and the sadness and what Baker meant to him, his neighbors and the city. He concludes:
We'll choose to remember him as he was in his prime: A husband, father, son, brother, coach, comedian, and devoted public servant. And, always - quite proudly - a Dorchester kid who always found a way to make us smile.
Boston Police alert us:
The Boston Police Academy will be conducting simulated drills with recruit officers throughout the day during which blank ammunition will be fired. These drills will take place in the area of 85 Williams Avenue in Hyde Park.
Boston Police report that its SWAT Team's mascot cat simply showed back up at the team's headquarters on Warren Street in Roxbury around 7 a.m. today, one month after the cat went missing and police put out an APB.
Grant Headley, 27, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges he shot Stokinger after Stokinger and other officers pulled him over on Mt. Bowdoin Terrace.
Boston Police have released a database of Field Interrogation and Observation (FIO) records from 2011 through April of last year, so have at it, data analysts (you can download a 3.2M XLS copy). The release comes in response to an ACLU public-records request - more than a year ago.
BPD outlines the basic results: Read more.
City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) wants to give Bostonians a safer way to complete transactions arranged on Craigslist and other online sites.
In a proposed ordinance to be discussed at the City Council's regular meeting on Wednesday, O'Malley proposes using spaces in city police stations for "e-commerce exchange zones:" Read more.
Steven Locke is a professor at Mass. College of Art and Design. He's won awards for his work. And he's black. Yesterday, on his way to the school, he parked in the lot behind Bukhara on Centre Street in JP, and started to walk out towards the Purple Cactus to get a burrito. And briefly became a suspect for a break-in, detained by a number of Boston cops, at least one who took care to unsnap his gun holster. Locke recounts the incident, including the hug a black woman who stopped to witness it all, gave him as he stood there afterwards.
"Thank you," I said to her. "Thank you for staying."
"Are you ok?" She said. Her small beautiful face was lined with concern.
"Not really. I'm really shook up. And I have to get to work."
"I knew something was wrong. I was watching the whole thing. The way they are treating us now, you have to watch them. "
"I'm so grateful you were there. I kept thinking to myself, 'Don't leave, sister.' May I give you a hug?"
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting reports Boston Police signed an agreement with the FBI under then Commissioner Ed Davis to use "StingRay" devices that can be used for real-time tracking of cell phones.
Perhaps the most controversial provision requires the BPD to notify the FBI if any prosecutor intends to disclose sensitive information in court, and to seek dismissal of those cases if the FBI determines that such disclosure might compromise the technology.
An Allston man arrested after he yelled at cops when he found them in his house in pursuit of a burglary suspect had his Fourth Amendment rights violated and deserves the damages a jury awarded him, a federal appeals court ruled today. Read more.
A federal judge ruled today that a Boston Police exam given in 2008 unintentionally discriminated against ten black Boston Police sergeants trying to become lieutenants and gave the city 30 days to come up with an acceptable remedy.
In his 82-page decision, US District Court Judge William Young wrote that while the city did not deliberately craft a multiple-choice exam to screen out blacks, the net effect of the multiple-choice exam was the same: They were at a disadvantage before they even sat down to answer the questions. Read more.
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