Associated Press reports some of the findings in a state report that says that, overall, "the response to the Boston Marathon bombings must be considered a great success."
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It also notes a bunch of police "self deployed" to the scene which added chaos. Seems like a bunch of john Wayne wannabes drove I've there guns a blazing.
...when the standards to become a cop are low.
I would have liked to have seen a little more critical analysis in the report of the decision to extend the shelter-in-place order to the entire city of Boston. It struck me at the time as unnecessary. It also sets a scary precedent: the authorities can tell the residents of a major American city "trust us, everyone stay off the streets".
It set a terrible precedent! It remains shocking that there is still no critical analysis (by the media, academia, or anyone) and that residents raised no questions and followed instructions like sheep.
Where were you when this happened?
At the time, I lived in Somerville and worked in Boston (and often spent nights in Boston at my then-girlfriend's. Both were 1/2mi or less from the bombing site). The lockdown was a terrible idea.
I was asking whogirl.
Reason being: many of those who criticize the lockdown weren't around and didn't understand how minimal it was in most places. I was horrendously jetlagged and exhausted from working for 12 straight days and travelling, so it was this weird blessing for me.
My favorite "you are all sheep" posting from that week (by people not here): the storm troopers even cancelled school!
from out-of-town friends telling me that cell phone service was off in the entire Boston area.
Too much TV news.
...and I went out anyway. The streets were deserted, so yeah...the sheep were indeed hiding.
...and I went out anyway. The streets had light traffic, but traffic nonetheless; and Roche Bros was normally crowded (which bummed me out - hoping for place to myself). Outside there was lots of kid-noise from all the out-of-schoolers.
(FYI, we're a bit closer to Watertown than Charlestown).
I had the same experience. I was living in the South End and decided to go out to grab a coffee. The cafe (the buttery) decided to open, the neighborhood was eerily empty. There were no cars on Tremont Street and there were no people in sight.
And in Kendall Square the night Officer Collier was murdered. Next question?
Next time we'll send academics in to do battle with two lunatics who killed a young cop in cold blood.
"There is a guy on the run who has killed a couple of people and who has had a shootout with police." is actually something that happens pretty regularly. Are we seriously going to lock down the city each time it happens?
I follow the news pretty regularly and cop killers throwing bombs at cops in the middle of the street is still a pretty rare occurrence.
John Q. Public thinks what happened that week is normal.
Most people realize that the voluntary Shelter in Place "order" was given with the best interests of the public. And given some of the wild shooting going on in Watertown, are you really going to argue that staying the hell out of the way wasn't a good idea?
Personally, I live just across the river, probably a 30 minute walk away from the goings on that night. There was no way I was stepping foot outside until the all-clear was given.
I was ordered to go home. It was not a suggestion.
And where were you?
..By that young panicked cop from Milton that I told you about. I was on the bridge right by the Milton trolley stop.
Again, it was not a suggestion. It was an order.
It was a suggestion because he did not have the authority to order you home.
to argue with a man who has his hand on a loaded gun? Personally, I would find things such a person tells me to do pretty authoritative. Not being Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris, or anyone like that.
Nothing to see here!
The Frying Pan of Reality
I talked to two cops while I was out and about that day. Admittedly, my choice f occupation probably had something to do with them not telling me to go home, but no one hassled me regardless.
Are you saying the police ordered you home? Unless you were in the area of the search in Watertown, I have a hard time thinking the cops ordered you home.
I've written about my own experiences in Boston that day at length, on UHub & elsewhere, and am sick of going over it, but at least some shops, bars, and a medical office were open in my neighborhood, and residential construction was going on. If your boss sent you home in compliance with the request, then great, but that's not martial law. If the Governor's office asks businesses to close early because a blizzard is hitting, and your boss complies, that's also not martial law.
He was alone, frightened, practically a child, and very inexperienced. I have a lot of respect for the police, but this particular one was a loose cannon.
You said he was a Milton cop, right? Did he order you home, with the insinuation that he had authorization to take action if you did not go home? Or did he say the T wasn't running and you couldn't get downtown/to work? Two very different things.
As I mentioned in our thread below, I do think it's important to give feedback if you're concerned about a cop's behavior during an interaction, but what you are describing here goes beyond that-- no cop in Lower Mills had the authority to order you home. You were not near the search area. And unless the town of Milton issued some order I'm unaware of, then I can't imagine why a Milton cop would be interpreting the governor's shelter-in-place request as giving him leverage to force you to go anywhere.
If you are remembering this accurately-- that you were ordered home in Milton or Boston-- then don't worry about having a badge number, just report it anyway. That is a gross overstep. But make sure you're remembering it exactly.
"Go home. Go home -- now." When I asked what happened, he stammered, "Terrorists!! Go home! He also mentioned the murder. Since he was holding his gun and seemed to be about to draw it, I considered it an order, not a suggestion.
I wish I had had the presence of mind to say something to his supervisors at the Milton Police Dept., but it's way too late now.
I'll be out for a day or two for the holiday, so feel free to keep asking questions. I can answer them later.
Sean Collier. He was alone. Do you think those guys on duty in sleepy Watertown thought they were going to be attacked with bombs? Put yourself in those shoes and rethink about what you wrote.
I sympathize with him to a certain degree, but he was supposed to have been trained not to panic even in difficult situations. I approached him properly and treated him with courtesy, asking a question that I had every single right to ask.
Put yourself in my shoes before you judge me.
The idea that 600k+ "sheeple" stayed under their beds in Boston based on an unconstitutional request is just not true. I live in the South End, most of the SE businesses were open. I own a business in Newmarket Square - pretty much all of the businesses there were open. In South Boston and Dorchester, the businesses were open. My partner who does interior renovation was out on job sites in the near western suburbs.
Obviously, we worked with employees who couldn't get to work due to the T shutdown, and I do get why the shutdown made sense. I also think that getting people off the streets in Back Bay, the Financial District, and college areas made sense given the carjacking at MIT and uncertainty around what was going on. And I do have a friend who was locked down in Watertown, which was a completely different situation. As we said to our employees at the time, everyone had to make their own decision about personal safety, and whatever decision was made would be respected.
.But this concept that there was some sort of martial law forcing us to stay in our houses throughout all of Boston is just not true, and the idea that the entire city was shut down is just not true.
If one walks 3-4 miles an hour, there are a lot of places that could be reached within three hours. The Middlesex Fells Reservation (5 miles from the shootout scene) was under heavy patrol and officers were posted at the major entrances to warn off dog walkers, etc.
On a stolen bike? Two hours gets you pretty much anyplace within 128 and then some. An hour or less walk to Cambridge could have him on a Bus to NYC (leaves Alewife around 6am).
Bus to a train? You could be in another state within two hours.
This wasn't a remote or abstract risk.
In any case, people were not restricted from being on the streets. They simply had little reason to be out and about given the transit shut down and businesses being shut down to remove potential hiding spots in that 12-mile radius from the last known location.
Sure, a 12 mile radius makes sense when you are 100% positive that he didn't get away in another vehicle. If he stole another car, he could have made it to the Canadian border by the time we woke up (not saying that would've made sense, just offering it as an option).
Bottom line is that the authorities were extremely lucky, and the "lockdown," whether mandatory or not, was most definitely a risk. Don't forget that he was only discovered after the shelter-in-place was lifted. And now we have documented evidence that the police were irresponsible with their trigger fingers in someone's backyard- after the shelter was lifted.
All in all, we are lucky that day ended the way it did.
Despite media reports, "the carjacking at MIT" was not at MIT. Where is the criticism of the press on that point? This AP article even claims the carjacking was in Cambridge (again, nope...). Many of us in Allston would likely have been more inclined to shelter-in-place if the media had gotten that correct and reported the carjacking was in Allston.
How they got that one wrong has been beyond me for the last 2 years. That they would get it wrong in an article today is even more embarrassing.
A car was jacked in Allston, driven through Brighton, Watertown, back to Cambridge where the driver escaped. The murderers/car jackers drove back through Brighton to Watertown. If you narrowly define "car jacking" as the place where the bad guys got into the car the first time, you're right.
The victim might quibble about your definition, however.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
Yeah, and the media reported the guy was carjacked on 3rd Street in Cambridge. You care to tell me where 3rd street fits in your story that carjackings occur in vague locales? That's why were we given a particular street name where it occurred?
Maybe I should blame the Middlesex DA:
As someone who lives on Brighton Ave a block from where the carjacking occurred, I can tell you, 3rd street is a world away from my daily life. The debate here is about the "shelter-in-place" order; lots of my neighbors in Allston expressed the opinion that the bombers had stuck to Cambridge, and only ended up in Watertown due to the police chase. In this view, shaped by reporting, all of us in Allston were distant from where the bombers preferred to travel. It is not absurd to believe that, since the bombers had not feed, the bombers had a comfort zone and were staying inside of it. Media reports gave the impression that Allston was outside that comfort zone.
about some gun nuts trying to be vigilantes than I was about whatshisname making his way up to Arlington, across Route 2, on foot.
Which is to say, not much.
Everyone here was watching the news, anyway.
Was that an order? I think it was just a suggestion.
People I know traveled around on foot and car that day. A few got tailed by cops but none were pulled over.
I lived in Charlestown at the time. No one said a word to me, and I saw two police cruisers while I was out and about. The "shelter in place" was a recommendation. But people, like good little sheep, took it as an order.
I took it as a recommendation, so I only left home when necessary. Seemed like a completely valid request, given my location etc etc.
But please go ahead and call everyone sheep. Hey, even better, call them "sheeple!"
"Haters gonna hate". "Shake it off" is a cute song but let us leave it at that.
And calling people "sheep", "sheeple" et.al. Give it a rest.
Your bravery and self-sufficiency is an inspiration to us all.
I mean they even for a second kind of own up to the fact that Dic Donahue was felled by friendly fire. Kind of.
Secondly, I was in Watertown that night and the report directly addresses the almost free for all atmosphere that existed when every cop in the state rushed towards the scene. I mean, did they really need cops from Gloucester?
I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, and Methodists!
We don't want the Irish!
They even scared the shit out of the NRA!
it is from an entirely different (and totally unrelated) scene than the one Lanny quoted from.
I like rape.
"Through the Vatican."
I thought that none of the people marched (at gunpoint) out of their homes in watertown were actually served with any warrant.
I imagine that there must be some emergency statute that allows such exceptions, but I don't recall hearing any discussion about it, nor any challenges after the fact.
Can anyone up-to-speed with the law clarify on what legal grounds those houses were vacated?
What videos did you watch that led to these conclusions?
The only thing remotely like you describe? The evacuation of a facility housing teens who had been through the criminal justice system (that's why the tight security - they were already in custody). Sorry, that was NOT a large family of teenagers and their kindly grandparents.
I ask because I'm not so sure that you were actually here and living this, given your use of canned descriptions and stock talking points.
But thanks for playing. Please remember to take your aluminum foil hat with you on the way out.
Psy-Ops!!! Inside Job!! FEMA Concentration Camps!! Illuminati!!!
(I now patiently await your rebuttal to my well constructed debate points.)
A better response might have been http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/04/boston...
Supposedly almost every single police officer in the Boston area was required to receive remedial training and requalify with their service weapons following these incidents.
The feds keep giving money for the police to buy equipment while failing to provide the money to assure adequate training to use that equipment.
Let's hope that this does not create a precedent. Something rather disturbing happened to me the morning of the lockdown when I was on the bridge by the Milton trolley stop. At the time, people were still out and about in Dorchester Lower Mills and the stores, including Dunkie's were still open. Therefore, the news had not reached all of us yet.
I needed to run into town for something, and once I got to the stop, I noticed that the sign said the T was shut down. So, I walked back up the stairs and very gently tapped on the Milton cop's car window to ask what happened and if he knew when it would run again.
This cop, who was barely more than a child, panicked and reached for his gun. I had to spend a fair amount of time and effort calming him down so I wouldn't get shot. Even though I'm pretty harmless looking, he could not stop panicking.
I have a lot of respect for good police who risk their lives for us, but an out of control cop is a dangerous cop.
Did he actually draw his weapon and point it at you?
He was extremely young, was inexperienced, had no partner, and had a grip on the gun the whole time. He was in a state of complete panic and was more than ready to shoot, even when I spoke softly and calmly, and with my hands raised. That's a potentially dangerous cop.
Did you get a badge number? I agree that a nervous, lone cop can be a danger, no matter what the circumstances. Seriously, if you feel like a cop is a danger, even if he's polite to you, you can still report thaat you are worried about his reaction. Even if his supervisor decides the officer behaved acceptably, at least they can be more self-aware and cautious about how they handle being approached by citizens. The next person knocking on the door might not have his hands up.
The Tsarnaev case aside, that area on the Milton/Dot line used to be a nasty little pissing contest between Milton cops, the BPD, and the T cops. I haven't lived there in years so I don't know if Milton PD cruisers still follow cars that don't seem "Milton Appropriate" up Adams St to the border, then wait until they cross the bridge before turning down Eliot St.
Try not to knock on the drivers side door of a cop, and try to make sure he sees you first before you do approach the window. If you do knock, don't knock loudly, either. Especially during that time, where a cop was just shot in his car, and the person who shot him was still around somewhere. People are their most vulnerable in the drivers seat if they are approached by someone with a gun, and this is why you see cops make sure you stay in the car during a traffic stop. They are trained in these tactics as well.
He could have also been doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing and trying to hide it, even if it were just a book or something. But knowing the time and what was going on, I wouldn't worry about it too much in terms of the officer and how dangerous he is.
Good advice, Pete.
Next time, if there is one, I'll remember that advice.... And that is some great background you've given us.
I agree with Pete Nice on this. Was the officer out of control or were you? Just days after Islamic jihadists killed three and maimed hundreds, and hours after they snuck up on an MIT cruiser and ambushed an officer, you sneak up on a cop and rap on the cruiser in the same metropolitan area? Hopefully, an officer with 30 minutes experience or 30 years experience would have reacted the same way. Either with a hand on their holstered gun, or having the gun unholstered in the low-ready position. The officer didn't point his gun at you, didn't prone you out on the sidewalk, merely reacted with extreme caution and that's "out of control?" What? Your actions are akin to an airline passenger knocking on the cockpit door when planes resumed flying after 9/11. Stupid. FWIW, I'm long retired but was sitting in my car texting after leaving the supermarket recently. An elderly woman mistook my car for her own and attempted to enter. It was startling, if only for a brief moment. Add in the tension and uncertainty of that week in April 2013 and I think the officer reacted more than reasonably.
Cops are never out of control. They are never poorly trained, and never lose their composure.
Right? Because they are perfect.
I like Pete's answer a whole lot better: cops are human.
His story explains that he had no idea what was going on. Meaning, he did not know why the T was closed, did not know about the shelter-in-place, and did not know a police officer was murdered the night before while in his cruiser.
Actually, I am a "she" ;)
To answer Pete Nice's and O-FISH-L's questions, I was very much in control and approached the cop's car by the passenger window quietly and openly, as if I were asking for directions. I made sure he could see me. Then I tapped gently on the window and asked what had happened. In other words, I approached the cop properly and treated him with the utmost consideration. The whole time, I behaved very calmly, especially when I realized that *I* was the one who needed to soothe this cop.
It's also true that I had not listened to the news yet and my Internet was on the blink, so I didn't know about the murdered policeman.
I went to Curry College with Mike Adamson another transit cop who was shot during the Battle at the Boat.
Ever find out what the deal was with the bomb detonated in Kenmore Square that morning along one of the Charlesgates? It was confirmed by law enforcement as a bomb and then we never heard about it again.
I worked near there at the time and that was key to my decision to stay home instead of taking an epic once-in-a-lifetime bike tour of downtown. I was also vaguely concerned about the well-being of the famous Melvin of Kenmore Square.
I don't think it was ever confirmed as a bomb? From what I remember the police stopped a cabbie and were suspicious of a package in the trunk. They suspected it was a bomb and blew it up just in case.
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