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Boston City Council approves restrictions on police use of tear gas, bean-bag guns, rubber bullets

The City Council voted 7-5 today for a measure that would require police to warn crowds they're about to unleash "non-lethal" weapons and to give people in the crowds a chance to disperse first.

The measure, proposed by Councilors Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan) and Andrea Campbell (Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale), would also require police officers to get on-site approval from a deputy superintendent or superintendent before getting the weapons ready for us - and would require that superior officer to not only give crowds two warnings, at least two minutes apart, but ensure people have an actual way to leave the scene first.

The measure now goes to Acting Mayor Kim Janey for her consideration. As a councilor last year, Janey voted in favor of a similar measure, which was vetoed by then Mayor Marty Walsh.

In addition to Arroyo and Campbell, Councilors Kenzie Bok (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill), Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton, Lydia Edwards (Charlestown, East Boston, North End), Julia Mejia (at large) and Michelle Wu (at large) voted for the measure. Councilors Frank Baker (Dorchester), Annissa Essaibi George (at large), Michael Flaherty (at large), Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) and Ed Flynn (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Downtown) voted against.

Arroyo and Campbell said they ultimately want to ban the use of the weapons completely, but that limiting when police can use them is a key step towards "demilitarizing" BPD.

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To the MSP, Transit, Massport and the numerous campus police departments in the city?

From Mariame Kaba (abridged):
1. Are the proposed reforms allocating more money to the police? If yes, then you should oppose them.
2. Are the proposed reforms advocating for more police and policing? If yes, then you should oppose them.
3. Are the proposed reforms primarily technology focused? If yes, then you should oppose them, because it means more money to the police.

There are a couple more that are just as good, but a bit longer so I'm not going to post them. This reform above doesn't fall into categories 1, 2, or 3 so it seems like it's worthy of support.

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That it was 7-5. How do those boots taste, Baker, George, Flaherty, O'Malley, and Flynn?

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Ask the cops how all those bricks and molotovs taste? All those manufactured outrage videos always leave out that part.

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...not trigger-happy goons.

‘My face exploded': Police firing rubber bullets have wounded and permanently disabled protesters and journalists

Which one of these people had a brick or a Molotov? How is blinding and permanently disabling journalists, who are protected by the Constitution, within any scope or sense of professionalism?

IMAGE( https://i0.wp.com/www.twincities.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Tirado-1.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&ssl=1)

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but part of being a good cop is recognizing that it's your job to protect even the people that are attacking you. That's a really hard thing to do and adding rules to make it harder to lash out is beneficial for everyone.

I don't know how this exact requirement will play out, but it seems pretty reasonable to give a crowd a chance to leave. If there's ever a situation where a crowd actually goes from totally peaceful to overrunning the police lines in less than two minutes, we will let the courts consider their behavior.

All this will do is require the police to give warning earlier when they feel a crowd is getting out of control. I've been on the receiving end of the police doing that and not doing that. The times they gave fair warning, most people left.

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HOW IS MOLOTORV COCK BRICK TAIL TASTE???? ITSZ HADRD TYPGN WHITH THSES OVENB MITTTS ON

Name one time a cop shot a molotov cocktail out of the sky with a rubber bullet.

You can't tear gas a brick. Well, you can but you might as well try to get blood from a rock.

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...although we'll never know for sure, that the cumulative number of "all those bricks and molotivs" from all the BLM protests since the movement began are less than what cops faced at the Capitol on January 6. IOW, if you really care about cop safety, maybe you should be looking elsewhere for the threats.

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Yeah, funny (or not) how the Irish gene -or Irish affiliation- creates a pretty clear dividing line when it comes to Boston Police issues.

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"We're going to continue using tactics that would be considered war crimes by the Geneva Convention if we weren't deploying them against our own citizens. But don't worry, we'll say 'Heads up' first."

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That the simple act of warnings and ensuring there is a way for residents to leave was TOO MUCH for FIVE Councilors.

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That the simple act of warnings and ensuring there is a way for residents to leave was TOO MUCH for FIVE Councilors.

Hey, if they do that, the police can't engage in their favorite tactic of kettling to prevent protesters from disperse as ordered, and then using their "failure" to disperse as an excuse to have fun with their "non-lethal" munitions. "Pepper Jack" gonna need a new nickname now...

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I assume that's supposed to be use but it almost works better this way.

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the death of poor Victoria Snelgrove from “non lethal crowd control” at the hands of the enablers of child rape that is the Boston Police was forgotten by the pandering to townie goofs on the Council. Not to mention the 5 million they paid to the family after her 2004 killing.

I’m not surprised at cop lover and Walsh wannabe Annisa, but I’m really not surprised at the useless appendage that is the soon to be thankfully gone Matt O’Malley. Easily the most insufferable yuppie goof to ever stink up the Hall.

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If Arroyo and Campbell want to demilitarize the police force, two things need to happen. Stop buying military equipment and get rid of the Veteran's preference. You literally have ex-military personnel walking around with ex-military gear, what do you expect? Until those two things are tackled, this is just progressive theater and will change nothing.

And as a taxpayer, I'm not super psyched about the automatic triple damages that the city will be on the hook for. I'm all for damages being owed if the city screws up, but treble damages are supposed to be a deterrent, and it doesn't work if the officer is not the one paying it.

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The Veteran's preference works more for BFD than BPD. It's hard to get a firefighter job. Getting a job as an officer isn't so impossible.

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It's all very well to demilitarize the Boston Police Department, but the militarization of Police departments throughout the United States is a huge problem throughout the country. Demilitarizing the Boston Police department is a good goal to aim for, but Police Departments throughout the United States must be demilitarized also.

Another way in which our Middle East policy is the gift that keeps on giving.... take a bunch of 28 year olds whose entire training and career to date has been to serve in a military occupation, hire them en masse onto our police departments with not enough training and supervision, and then get all outraged when, surprise, some police start acting like they’re in an occupying army instead of like law enforcement professionals.

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I read the proposal and I'm not a lawyer. Does it say what Police are supposed to do as an alternative? And if so, were those provisions written by anyone with experience with unruly crowd control and riots which involve lighting police cruisers on fire?

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And if so, were those provisions written by anyone with experience with unruly crowd control and riots which involve lighting police cruisers on fire?

It kind of depends on what outcome you want, how you define "unruly", what you're calling a "riot" and what you consider "crowd control". You want everyone to shut up and go home? Not gonna happen. You want a crowd that's angry about police brutality to refrain from saying harsh things about cops? Also not gonna happen. You want violence to not happen? Step back and consider the degree to which police presence increases the likelihood that it will happen. Step back and ask what exactly is the need for police in a given situation. What are they supposed to be policing? If one or two people in a demonstration of thousands attack property, what is an appropriate response? What is the problem, and what is an appropriate solution?

Put simply, the police response to many protests has created the very problems that it uses as its justification. All very nice and neat.

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How pathetic is the Boston Police Dept that the City Council has to vote in a measure that is just ordinary common sense?

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I'm so sorry for the demonstrators who've been maimed, blinded and/or killed by the police.

I admit that demonstrating has never, ever been my cup of tea, but this is one of the reasons why.

I admit that demonstrating has never, ever been my cup of tea, but this is one of the reasons why.

And that is why the rest of us have to keep showing up.

It's not our "cup of tea" either. We would rather be watching a movie or going for a walk or sitting and drinking a caffeinated beverage, perhaps with a nice scone. Sometimes our reasons for showing up are as simple as wanting to keep that choice.

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... and that troubles you, consider shooting them an email to let them know. Similar issues will come up again.