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Thousands hold vigil in Franklin Park; some police officers outside headquarters take a knee

Protester at Frankling Park

At Franklin Park. Photo by Charlie Rosenberg.

Several thousand people came to Franklin Park this evening to remember George Floyd and other black victims of police violence, in a vigil sponsored by Black Lives Matter Boston and Violence in Boston.

Unlike Sunday night on the Common, people dispersed, on the whole, peacefully. A few bottles were lobbed at cruisers at Jewish War Veterans Drive in the park and on the Arborway, but people mostly walked away pecefully, if boisterously. One group headed towards Boston Police headquarters on Tremont Street in Roxbury, where WCVB captured a dramatic scene:

Another group headed towards Forest Hills, for an impromptu Black Lives Matter rally outside the T station.

Another group headed north, into the Back Bay and towards the Common.

The T shut Park Street station.

Violence did occur tonight, but to our south, in Brockton:

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Comments

I was at the vigil in Franklin Park tonight. At first I was happy/proud that BPD let people march peacefully. Then after as people walked back along circuit drive, multiple police SUVs kept driving right through crowds (not like in NYC to attack, but still antogonistic). It was sad to see, after a peaceful night of remembering those murdered by police, that they police chose to try to escalate the situation by driving right through us. Totally unnecessary. Im sure the Globe/Herald wont report that since that is not what their readers want to hear, but hopefully Uhub and others will talk about the truth. Its almost as though the cops were angry things werent violent and tried to stir things up.

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Fuck those cops taking a knee. That's just a photo op. If they had any heart and actually wanted to show solidarity, they would quit their jobs.

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Yeah, we do not need police. Remember when Tsarnaev was caught by Reddit?

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Voting closed 96

The inability (or unwillingness) of some people to envision any sort of alternatives to any of the institutions we currently have in place or really to see the possibility for any sort of meaningful societal change at all is really astounding.

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"envision any sort of alternatives"

What do you mean? Reddit is a great alternative.

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the end goal of that Reddit investigation was to figure out who it was...so they could call the police or the FBI on that person. If anything, that whole story more goes to show the potential danger that can come from a violent organization that can be sicced on innocent people - the family was lucky that the FBI had its own leads instead of storming into their house and potentially hurting someone (and also, lets not forget the people who were wrongly accused or arrested by the police themselves, like the guy who got stripped naked by the cops because they were convinced he must be concealing a bomb).

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The inability (or unwillingness) of some people to envision any sort of alternatives to any of the institutions we currently have in place

OK, what have you got?

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In order to get your cosmetology license in the state of Massachusetts you need;

1000 hours of training.

In order to become a Boston Police Officer you need;

800 hours of training.

Let's start there, shall we?

Ok, Chief. Now what ideas have YOU got?

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You can start quickly with this article here.

Even more in this blog post about what to do instead of calling the police.

Finally, it's a bit longer, but this ebook is free right now and contains a bit more discussion about what roles policing plays in our society and what other ways we could perform those roles in a less violent and militarized way.

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Remember when we were all 'ordered' to stay in place due to one 16 year old running around while cops from all over the region drove into the city to play Wild West? And I believe had friendly fire injuries? Remember how it was the guy in the house who tipped off the cops vs. them actually finding him?

That is a perfect example of how yes, cops are important and no, cops can't be trusted to act within the law when they get fired up. Cops need more regulation than almost anyone because the nature of the job attracts power hungry assholes who think they're better than anyone. Used to be cops wanted to serve their communities but times have changed. Thin blue line flags and Punisher stickers are their gang signs showing which cops are here to protect cops vs. cops that are good community members IMO.

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and the punisher stickers/imagery --- if they knew anything about the actual comic book character, they'd know that his existence is an indictment of law enforcement in this country. but no, they just see:

"DURRR, TUFF GUY KILLS BAD GUYS! That's what i want to be!"

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It's too hard to fire cops. When a cop screws up, terminate their public employment without grounds for an appeal or reinstatement.

It's not going to stop racism but it is going to put a check on officers who constantly push boundaries knowing the worst that will happen is a private reprimand.

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The Police Department should be held financially liable for any damages that a court awards to citizens in cases of excessive force.

COURT AWARDED DAMAGES SHOULD BE DIRECTLY PAID FROM POLICE DEPARTMENT BUDGETS!

A cop kills or hurts an innocent person?

Welp, I guess no new blacked-out robocop cars this year, boyos. Or the next, or the one after that until they clean up their mess.

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I agree that cops have too little accountability, and that it should be easier to fire bad ones. They're still entitled to due process, which means there has to be a legal procedure, subject to appeal. Otherwise, you'll have cops serving at the whim of whatever authority has the power to terminate them, and that can also lead to abuses.

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I'm willing to take a chance on abuses from the top down as opposed to the bottom up. I'd rather good cops get fired than bad cops stick around. And if a cop gets fired, nothing stopping them for being public about why they think it was the wrong decision. They can sue if it really was the result of a civil rights violation.

I can be fired from my job without due process. So why do cops get so much job protection?

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They have a union. If you don't have one, whose fault is that? Because you allow yourself to be a powerless wage-slave with no job protection, then everyone else should do the same? The conditions of your employment are not inevitable. Instead of whining that some have exercised their collective power to avoid your fate, you should do what they did. Please note that I am not saying that the police union is wonderful for society or always acts in a responsible manner, but their conditions of employment are not accidental, and were not easily gained.

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While I'm not opposed to unions, I'm opposed to anything which prevent dirty cops from being fired.

Given the amount of police brutality and corruption in this country, I'd say the police unions aren't serving the public's interest.

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Their "union" is a corrupt protection racket, not a labor organization.

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That would mean employment in the public sector would be close to what we have in the private sector. And obviously we can't have that....

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Why can't cops be employees at will like the rest of us?

In 49 states* you can fire someone for no reason. You can't fire them for being a protected class, but you can fire them without any notice or appeal.

Why should cops get a legal procedure when the rest of us don't?

* it's Montana. Weird, I know.

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Now go back to tagging the sound barriers around the Red Line.

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Was caught by a guy who went to smoke a cigarette and found him in his boat, after 24 hours of police locking down the entire metro Boston area and utterly failing.

Maybe not the example you wanted to use.

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Unless you are speaking symbolically, your idealism is not grounded in reality. If all the police resigned we would have to trust the people to police themselves and/or not to commit any crimes. As much as I like to think I have faith in humanity, I do not see that happening. I suggest you rethink your position. It makes me think of the old saying from the Vietnam era "what if they gave a war and nobody came?". It's a lovely thought, but the problem is, somebody always comes.

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If the cops with a conscience quit their jobs that just leaves the bad cops. That feels like the worst thing that could happen.

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Maybe that could be a conversation.

But between them taking a knee and not taking a knee I would choose taking a knee.

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Why does a police officer need to quit their jobs to show solidarity with protesters? Thant is like saying since our government has issues with corruption, everyone should resign. There are good cops and there are bad cops; just like there are good teachers and there are bad teachers (and so on and so forth). To oversimplify such a serious topic and rely on divisive comments like, "fuck those cops taking a knee", sounds more like a page out of the Donald Trump playbook than Black Lives Matter or any civil rights movement I'm familiar with. Let's channel our anger into driving policy changes and people to the voting booth.

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And what jobs are out there? Security guard for Macy's during riots? No one is hiring. We are also in a pandemic, if you remember. 40M Unemployed. If someone wants to be a cop let them. It's a personal choice, not yours.

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Even awareness of doing a photo opportunities indicates they are breaking ranks and that offers an opportunity to form useful communications and start tackling internal problems. They may be willing to pressure management, maybe until they are kicked out. You think they should quit in protest? And leave the department even worse?

Who knows? I don't know how everything top down will be able to work on an entrenched problem. Integrating law and enforcement of law is not easy to begin with in a perfect department. It is clear that changes must take place soon, though... even if institutional changes will be resisted.

It isn't working now, clearly.

But speedy changes aren't always going to bring speedy results.
Change still has to spread through the institution and can be painfully slow.
Is there any more patience left?

I hear that often the intelligent and civic-minded thoughtful applicants are avoided, as these candidates soon move on to other jobs.

Is this true?

How can the rotten eggs now there be taken out of the nest?
I imagine the unions can't just abandon members and not supply legal and other support as a workers' union does.

The problem may have been festering both for racist reasons, and self-defensiveness reasons.

An attack on one (even if that one is a murderer) is an attack on all.
Circle the wagons. Well, sometimes you got to cut off an infected arm to spare the body.

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Looks like it was a great night in Boston. I hope it stays that way.

Brockton hurts, it hurts real bad.

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I first saw Brockton in the summer of 91. Prostitutes at every intersection on main st. In the middle of the Afternoon. From my personal experience the residential streets, looked like they were Car bombed.I dated a nice girl from Brockton. She was a nice Educated black girl, every single one of her relatives were hateful towards me. I would describe them as primitive.
That's all my experience of Brockton.
I have heard that Brockton was a great place to shop in the 50's.

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When it reopens, visit the Fuller Craft Museum.

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Here I was thinking that today's racists at least knew better than to say things like "primitive" and "educated black girl."

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At least he didn't go on at how "articulate" she was.

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She was a RN nurse.
Primitive means, they only cared about drugs, getting more welfare,stealing food stamps from each other,fighting about who is the father of a baby.

As for "racism " Im only reporting what I witnessed. Deal with it.

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You let that bigot flag fly, boy. Not that we didn't already know what you are, but yeah, you put it right out there.

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Brockton is a great city, with great people. You innuendos are BS.

It sucks seeing what happened last night.

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Were in Brockton do you live. What public schools do your children go to??

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It's been two weeks. What have the police and politicians done to make substantial changes?

Police taking the knee is all well and good but agreeing to procedural changes would be far more significant.

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George Floyd was killed 7 days and several hours before your post. The Black community knew another Black man would be killed by police, but they didn't know with the precision to protest a full week before it happened.

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They now hide their badge numbers as a matter of policy, to reduce accountability.

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And here I thought that was a "mourning band" for their blue brothers fallen in battle.

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Yes, it's important that things change, but we need to help make that happen. Write to your mayor, your senator, your chief of police, your city council, your newspaper....

Make real suggestions (see the NAACP recommendations), offer solutions. Then follow up.

https://www.naacp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Toolkit.pdf

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This is a great document, a concise and well-referenced catalog of the reasons how abusive cops are protected by the system. In order to dismantle this shield of protection, we need to understand it, make sure our local leaders are aware of it, and make them commit to taking necessary political risks.

And we need to question the existence of police "unions". They are not unions, they are corrupt organizations whose advocacy crosses the line and undermines constitutional policing.

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The virus does not discriminate and any type of mass gathering is a potential mass spreader event. I very much hope I am wrong because this virus has already taken or compromised the long term health of so many people.

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...to my comment, what?

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fueled the arrest of Officer Chauvin and the other accessories in George Floyd's murder. I doubt there would have been any charges at all without them. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

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Last night the battle for Brockton was a sad chapter in this saga straight out of Les Miserables. Poorly equipped tough Brockton cops behind their cheap plastic barricades squaring off against young tough Brockton teens neither side backing down neither side wanting to war and in the background was the headquarters of the Brockton police looking like an ancient fortress built upon a wall of granite.
Later on bus loads of troopers dressed in their imperial stormtrooper uniforms arrived and caste aside the ill equipped Brockton Police and restored order. At that moment I realized that even the police have a caste system with the state police on top.
The future for Brockton is bleak and by next year many of the tough Brockton cops who defended their city will be laid off along with teachers, social workers and guidance counselors.The tough young teens will suffer with no job prospects and no hope for higher education.
What this country needs now is more leaders like Jean Valjean and less Javerts.

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we MUST keep an eye on the National Guard and demand their exit from the city asap.

The forces they rolled into town and have parked and stationed all over the metro area far outweighs any need and something tells me they aren't planning to leave until after the election. If there even is one.

Considering what we've seen over the past week (and really the past 3+years) has been a rapid descent into Fascism.

"The State" has declared war on it's people and those who screamed about "STATES RIGHTS" while Obama was President seem all too eager to have tanks crush political opposition in Democratically controlled cities.

We need a new Union of like-minded states and should appeal to the UN for assistance. Not just to keep military forces away from civilians but to make sure the GOP doesn't steal another election.

Make sure you know who your friends are and start scrubbing your social media if you've been especially critical of Dear Leader.

Because it's not that it can happen here,
it IS happening here.

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I'm all in favour of the UN like they have in Africa, Because I I don't have little black girls as children.....the UN soliders love little black girls. Duck duck go is your friend.

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Way to go, Sean, let your filth flag fly. Keep showing your ass in public.

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