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Boston police commissioner would have fired those four Minneapolis cops, too

BPD Commissioner William Gross this morning:

UPDATE: At an afternoon press conference, Gross added, "they should be held accountable."

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Comments

he would of asked for charges, which should be brought

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That's all well and good, but the real question is would he charge them with murder?

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as something you saw wasn't what you saw.

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The Boston Police Commissioner is not the district attorney so I assume the answer would be No to this one. DA Rollins on the other hand would and should answer Yes to this.

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I would expect that any day now. You will be hard pressed to find any police officer who condoned what happened here, at least in Boston.

This was murder. And the Floyd family deserves justice.

- a Boston Cop

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"They should be held accountable."

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held accountable' Is the DA's job.

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So please allow him to go to church and pray that no city cops do some stupid and criminal.

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Let him WORK so that no Boston cops do something stupid and criminal. He's got a ways to go.

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... have a law similar to what Minnesota does, requiring intervention by other officers (see 5-303.01 in Minneapolis use of force regulation). If not, I doubt that the other three officers would have been fired.

Another way to get bystander police fired would be to have them all attest to the accuracy of the police report. Here's the Monday statement from the police: "He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.” Then we got the citizen video and, oh boy, did the story change. Anyone in charge of providing the facts behind that false statement should be fired for that alone.

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Actually can't find it in the law/procedure books but excessive force is a crime, and officers must intervene if excessive force is used. Probably in the policies that I don't have.

And what you are referring to is not a police report, only a media blurb. I wonder if a report was even written yet from each officer here or by anyone.

Anyone can resist if excessive force is used legally.

By guess is that these officers will say they thought his knee was on the suspects back, which still isn't ok, but is used/taught as a control technique for prisoners. But once he is handcuffed, the knee needs to get off (unless there is some special circumstance that there doesn't appear to be here). "Control" officers are taught to scan the crowd so the officer making the arrest isn't effected in anyway, so the other cop will try to use that as an excuse.

The cop with the knee would be charged anywhere. The other three would get tricky, but would be charged also is my guess (much harder to convict the other three though)

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I had a long parenthetical about the spokesperson's statement vs police report and took it out in the interest of brevity. But the spokesperson's statement (hopefully) wasn't made up out of whole cloth -- it was informed by statements from officers on the scene. Police shouldn't be lying when reporting (in a formal report or otherwise) about their actions.

As for what happened, I saw a video which seemed to indicate that victim was handcuffed shortly after he was removed from his car. Then he was sat against a wall. Then he was picked up and he walked across the street (all still in handcuffs) with two officers. Then the video that we've all seen shows him on the ground near the police car with a knee on his neck. So at least the initial handcuffing (maybe they uncuffed him?) was a long time and many actions removed from the knee on the neck.

While the criminal proceedings get going (or don't), any thoughts on how qualified immunity would play out here in a civil suit?

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because these officers should have been trained in use of force during arrest of cuffed or un cuffed persons. A knee on the neck is not part of that training, and I'm guessing a lot of other things that happened here weren't a part of their training either. Training and use of force reports are going to be very important here.

But.....

If these officers said a cuffed victim spit at them and said he had Covid? That is new territory, and new territory is what gives cops qualified immunity in the first place. The cop can say "he spit in my face, and the only way I could protect my face was to physically move his mouth away from me with my knee". Can the court site any case law regarding Covid like viruses and how it is passed or how a reasonable person should react when confronted with this situation? Are the officers trained in dealing with infectious diseases that are transmitted like coivd?

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Thanks

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And using force is always a tough one. Handcuffed prisoners is usually pretty clear though in what you can or cannot do.

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This might be because it is a relatively new statute, because Mpls has a pretty sordid history of police violence. Something like this seems to happen in Minneapolis every year or so: the killing of a defenseless human. Jamar Clark. Justine Damond. Philando Castile was shot in a nearby community. And this is in a city which is barely half the size of Boston with an even smaller police force. There seems to be a major cultural issue with the trigger-happy police there.

When was the last time BPD (or any other local jurisdiction) killed someone and it wasn't pretty obviously justifiable? Apparently it happened a bunch in the '70s but they changed policies then. Sounds like Mpls could do a lot better. This is not to say that BPD officers are a bunch of saints but by comparison they look pretty good.

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When was the last time BPD (or any other local jurisdiction) killed someone and it wasn't pretty obviously justifiable?

I mean...with this case and a bunch of others, it only became public because there was an independent video that was released, and that's only really been possible in the last few years. How many cases has this potentially happened in where someone was murdered and the police line was that any deadly force was justified? It's impossible to say, and frankly I think BPD should take that into account and recognize that they need to do more than just point fingers at other PDs.

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In racial profiling training, Crisis intervention training, etc. I’m betting they have better training than the Boston Police has but even that only goes so far.

With the educational bonuses in Massachusetts (the towns that have them) you have seen a very sharp increase in college educated police officers in recent years including many veterans with college degrees. Studies have shown that educated police forces use less violence. Maybe it’s time for some places to reevaluate their hiring practices (although the guy from MM had been on for 19 years I guess)

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He didn’t die, he was killed!

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Murder.

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I disagree. However I wasn't there. Likely he (along with his colleagues) will end up with a little pat on the wrist and a very stern "oh no that's not very nice" lecture. Same shit, different day.

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