Seven arrested in Winter Street loitering crackdown

Boston Police report officers patrolling Winter Street in Downtown Crossing because of a recent outbreak of violence and drug dealing arrested seven men refusing to stop crowding the entry of a Winter Street shop last night.

Police say the officers at first tried to get the men to just move along shortly before 9:30 p.m., but that they stood their ground outside Game Stop, 40 Winter St. Two even "became aggressive" and tried to fight the officers, police say.

Seven men, between 19 and 29, from Boston, Randolph, Lynn and Medford were arrested on trespassing charges. A Medford man was also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; the two alleged fighters were also charged with resisting arrest, police say.

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Comments

I was there when this

I was there when this happened. They were in a doorway to someone house, not sure if they were trying to get in or what. Imagine trying to get in your home and ten kids are blocking your entrance. It is like that every night over there. They don't let you walk the street and say something to you when you try to get past them.

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They moved to Downtown

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They moved to Downtown Crossing on WINTER ST! What do you expect? They should have moved to Newton

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not the doorway of someone's home.

This is a business, that buys and sells used electronics & games. The phones are Used and refurbished phones, and they also sell used games and consoles. My experience is that good share of those used items are stolen. It is not as bad as CEX (next door). Both places close at 9pm, so its time to move along. Everyone can enter store and have a private event if that is what's happening but it would be reasonable to be concerned if they are not invited.

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This is excellent news.

I hope it's a harbinger. There needs to be a heightened focus on quality-of-life crimes all over the city.

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I see this being difficult

I see this being difficult with Rollins the new DA running. She wasn't to make petty crimes legal. I'm a Democrat through and through but this is crazy talk.

15 offenses she will refuse to prosecute, ranging from trespassing to drug possession with intent to distribute, has drawn criticism from police and even some criminal defense attorneys.

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Once more, with reasoning

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"not prosecute" is not the same as "do nothing". It just means that the DA doesn't waste court time on the small stuff for two-bit morons with short records when they make a deal.

This does go down on their permanent record unless they cut the crap and get their grownup on.

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Just for anyone curious as to

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Just for anyone curious as to the veracity of this statement, this is the actual policy from https://rollins4da.com/policy/

Prosecuting Crime: The District Attorney’s office should not and will not be the front door to mass incarceration. However, in carrying out justice we must prosecute violent crime, economic crime, and other crimes that truly deserve prosecution. We will prosecute crime, but we will do it differently.

Many of the charges brought by the current administration are non-violent, property crimes. Rachael believes that incarceration should be reserved for violent offenders that are disrupting the safety of our communities. By looking at the root causes of many of the non-violent, property crimes and crimes of desperation, we can see that addiction, mental-illness, and poverty are the real culprits. Services, not sentences are the solutions.

Supporting Victims: The Rollins Administration understands that an effective response to victims leads to a reduction in crime and can speed the healing process.

We will promote positive, respectful and professional relationships with victims.
We will respond to victims in a timely fashion, value their feedback, and continually improve our victim services.
We will meet with crime victims personally prior to the victim’s testifying. This will not only be the role of the Victim Witness Advocates, the ADA will also meet with the victim prior to testifying.
Our workforce will reflect the diversity of the people we serve including people who speak languages other than English. Whenever possible, constituents should be able to speak in their first language. We will work to recruit staff with fluency in the languages commonly spoken in Suffolk County (Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole, and Vietnamese). Our materials will be translated into these languages.
In addition to unconscious bias training, our staff will receive training in serving the LGBTQ+ population and people with disabilities. Our staff will understand that people’s social identities are complex and that everyone’s voice should be heard.
All of our ADA’s and VWA’s will have sufficient training including in issues related to domestic violence, family violence, hate crimes, and childhood sexual abuse.

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Mass Incarceration

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think what we're concerned about with mass incarceration is people getting the book thrown at them when they should be receiving a slap on the wrist (three-strikes laws and the like).

But I'm not sure how this reasoning extends to not slapping those on the wrist who deserve it.

Say what you will about broken-windows policing - and there are real issues - but I'm pretty sure that in big cities like NYC, Chicago, etc., ithis style of quality-of-life policing is not condemning many to years-long prison sentences.

There are A LOT of broken windows in downtown crossing.

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No

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Not really.

I work here and am in the area >40 hours a week.

Suburban panic isn't "lots of broken windows". It is "OMG HORRIBLE STUFF AAHHHHHH" from a chair in Woburn.

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Hahaha...

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Funny.

I worked on Winter Street from 2012 - 2014, and then in Southie from 2015-2017, with a commute that regularly took me through DX. I've spent lots and lots of time in that immediate vicinity over the past ten years.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with your last sentence, but I don't live in the suburbs - unless you consider Winter Hill the suburbs.

I'm not a fan of police states, but I also don't think that we should let our ideology and social aspirations blind us to real conditions. It was, and still is, often chaotic around that corner. As far as I can tell, it hasn't gotten any better.

Don't get me wrong -- Downtown Crossing is not generally a dangerous area. But I have regularly seen people engaging in drug commerce in plain sight around those parts...

I don't think it would be the worst thing to step up police enforcement there.

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Also no. I worked for years

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Also no. I worked for years as a BPD cop downtown and we responded to numerous quality of life issues from businesses and workers in the crossing who just wanted to go about their day but couldn’t because of “broken windows”. Just because you don’t experience it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

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Broken windows policy in NYC

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Broken windows policy in NYC was a disaster for people of color.

And hey - you dont need to be condemned to a long sentence. You could be accused of stealing a backpack and be held at Rikers for 3 years getting tortured while awaiting a trial.

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I know the case that you're

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I know the case that you're talking about - Kalief Browder. That's a terrible corruption of justice, an indictment of the criminal justice system, and all the rest.

New York City in some ways really did become a police state. It's probably crazy to authorize officers to arrest people for biking on the sidewalk, and clearly, asymmetries in the way that low-level crimes (marijuana, trespassing) were policed were severely detrimental and unfair to people of color.

That being said...none of this implies that BPD should tolerate hand-to-hand transactions on Bromfield Street, or allow drug-addled people to battle each on the corner of Winter and Tremont. I know that the nuance was lost in many past implementations of broken-windows-style enforcement, but that doesn't mean that we should throw up our hands and say that low-level chaos doesn't matter.

Cry "data" all you want, but I'm just not buying that enforcement of low-level offenses doesn't matter. Maybe it doesn't matter as much as some would argue, but it's not completely inconsequential.

If I'm incorrect, please point me to a study that presents an empirically bulletproof refutation of *all* broken-windows style policing.

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Services?

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The reason we have so much drug crime is because we have the services. Drug dealers target service laden areas. Who is gong to provide the additional services? Drug rehab workers are not correction officers and are asked to deal with truly alarming behaviors without resources. There are no long term services for most mentally ill individuals in MA. Not all addicts but many criminals are addicts. Not all mentally ill are street homeless but most street homeless are mentally ill. Whre is the $$$$ coming from? Good luck with that Ms Rollins.

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They need to do this in

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They need to do this in Dudley in front of a certain liquor & convenience store. It seems like a handful of people literally live there. I almost caught a stray fist to the head trying to dodge a fight while going to the liquor store.

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Tip of the hat, sir, that you

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Tip of the hat, sir, that you did not let a fist fight slow you down from getting into the liquor store! I would have hung back for a few or come back later. I admire your dedication and focus. I am not being sarcastic, I truly feel that is pretty suave.

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Heightened security

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I've been seeing a lot more cop cars around Winter street and in front of the church on Tremont, across from the Common, during the evening commute. I don't usually see officers, but their cars stopped with lights on. I guess I feel a little better with increased patrol, but I'm also always wondering if something is happening and I shouldn't be in the area.

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Good

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Glad they are doing something about Winter Street. Feel like most DTX stories posted here happen along that 100 yard stretch.

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About time

Winter, Tremont, Washington, and Temple are all full of angry, drug-addled dudes with no job who treat the area like their own sewer system.

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When Shall Spring Finally Come?

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After nearly thirty years of experiencing and observing Boston's street life in all its forms, fashions and temperaments... I now personally consider Winter Street to be the most dangerous street within city limits. Consider: it has now become a place where over any given 24-hour period many forms of interpersonal human violence are quite casually possible; and often play out. The immediate vicinity, as many of you all know and have noted, ain't much better.

Winter Place: On a good day I'm relieved to simply discover nothing worse than some fresh human {liquid + solid} waste and maybe a dead rat.

Temple Place: Using that Orange Line entrance has vividly clarified for me why the T closed most of the original entrances/exits to Chinatown during the golden age of the Combat Zone.

A wise young friend of mine outta Division Three once pointed out to me that you either fix problems or you solve them. One must have the sincerity and integrity to view the crisis head-on, understand fully what brought it about and take ownership of the solution. That's why the DTX "ambassadors" strike me as so silly and tragic. They are officially welcoming us to our localized Hell. There's putting lipstick on a pig, Marty, but now you and the city are just smearing mascara on a honey-baked ham.

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Sometimes they are

When they won't get out of your face on request.

When they grab your kid by the arm because you are trying to leave.

When they are on private property and asked to leave.

When they block your path and try to corner you.

When their amplified preaching is above the legal decibel limit and penetrates all nearby offices.

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Great job, BPD

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Thank you it doin this.

Re: Rollins. - I agree there is plenty of room for reform, and we should not be so quick to saddle young miority men with crminal records. However, I find her policies too focused on that reform and lacking focus on situations like this. It's petty crime, but it matters.

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Independent Candidate for Suffolk County DA

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My name is Michael Maloney. I am the independent candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney. I agree with many of the sentiments expressed in these comments.

If you'd like to schedule a forum or one-on-one with my campaign, please contact my campaign manager, Linda Arian, at [email protected]

Thanks

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