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Boston cop gets probation for writing up bogus ticket for motorist he'd gotten into a traffic altercation with in Stoneham

BPD Officer Christopher Curtis yesterday pleaded guilty to six charges related to the traffic ticket he sent to a motorist following a 2019 incident on I-93 in Stoneham - including a note daring the other driver to challenge the ticket and then lying to investigators about the whole thing - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Curtis got a year on probation in exchange for pleading guilty, in Suffolk Superior Court, to charges of forgery, uttering, false report by a public employee, obtaining criminal offender record information under false pretenses, witness intimidation and misleading an investigation, the DA's office says. He was also ordered to pay $525 to reimburse the money the victim had to pay in fees to contest the ticket. His guilty plea on felony charges also means he can no longer work in law enforcement in Massachusetts - and that the state retirement commission will consider whether to reduce or rescind his pension.

According to the DA's office:

Had the case proceeded to trial, ADA Kevin Bergin of the DA’s Special Prosecutions Unit would have presented evidence and testimony to prove that, on March 1, 2019, Curtis was involved in a road rage incident on Interstate 93 South in the area of Stoneham. After the incident, evidence showed that Curtis used his position as a Boston police officer to run the victim’s license plate and sent the victim a traffic citation in the mail a week later. Included with the $790 ticket was a threatening, handwritten note challenging the victim to dispute the ticket.

When the victim appealed the citation in Woburn District Court, officials found several mistakes and irregularities with the citation. They notified Massachusetts State Police, who in turn referred the matter to the Boston Police Department Anti-Corruption Unit. Through the course of an investigation, Curtis was identified as the individual who forged and mailed the ticket.

Though he initially denied involvement, Curtis later admitted in an interview with detectives that he wrote the ticket when presented with evidence of his guilt.

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Comments

It's hard to imagine something more injurious to cops' reputation than one of them using their power for purely personal ends like this.

Surely all of the "good apples" were lobbying the DA to go for a harsh sentence to show that this is simply not acceptable.

Probation and $500 bucks. LOL. April's Fool Day must have come almost 2 months early this year.

What a damn joke.

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Voting closed 110

His guilty plea on felony charges also means he can no longer work in law enforcement in Massachusetts - and that the state retirement commission will consider whether to reduce or rescind his pension.

Being prohibited from your chosen profession is significant, as well as possibly being stripped of your pension. And considering that if you aren't a cop, you really can't write bogus traffic tickets, so he's been stripped of the ability to commit these specific crimes again.

Is that punishment enough? I don't know, I'm glad it's not my job to figure it out either, but "only getting probation" ignores the additional consequences of this guilty plea for these charges.

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Voting closed 68

Nonviolent offense, restitution, loss of job…All things considered I’d say justice was served.

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Voting closed 26

Being prohibited from your chosen profession is significant, as well as possibly being stripped of your pension

You're kidding, right? First of all, he only can't be a cop in MA...which means he'll be moving to FL by Sunday. They are literally taking any & all disgraced cops down there. And despite these serious charges he will likely get to keep his pension, because we NEVER seem to take it away from disgraced cops in this state.

Secondly, this guy pled guilty to the following charges:
1. forgery
2. false report by a public employee
3. obtaining criminal offender record information under false pretenses
4. witness intimidation
5. misleading an investigation

Do you honestly think a normal citizen in MA who did all of this would simply be walking away with 1-year probation & $500 fine?!?

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Voting closed 104

Even Florida does not hire cops who have felony convictions, that's like the one thing you actually cannot do and still be a cop.

https://www.fdle.state.fl.us/CJSTC/Officer-Requirements/Employment-Requi...

And guys, did I say the punishment was sufficient? No, I even said I don't know if it is sufficient. I'm not making a claim either way. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any similar court cases with those charges and circumstances that I could immediately compare this punishment to, and I certainly don't have the free time to find a bunch of them and read through them to see how they ended up.

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Voting closed 26

Secondly, this guy pled guilty to the following charges:
1. forgery
2. false report by a public employee
3. obtaining criminal offender record information under false pretenses
4. witness intimidation
5. misleading an investigation

Do you honestly think a normal citizen in MA who did all of this would simply be walking away with 1-year probation & $500 fine?!?

You have never been in a Massachusetts courtroom have you. While I believe 6 months in prison is fine for a cop doing something like this, your average joe would need do do this about 3-4 times before any jail time would get issued. (Like in a fraud check to a bank or scam or something)

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Voting closed 26

and I think we're generally in agreement, but I don't think that this type of public corruption is equivalent to the non-violent crimes you cite.

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Although I get this sense that people think criminals go to jail on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time they steal from someone or commit any crime. It is very rare.

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Voting closed 22

Are you the least bit familiar with the current state of MA/Boston/Suffolk County trial court.
If not for an officer involved these charges would have not have even garnered an indictment. If it had it would have been plead down to nothing or outright dismissed.

The manufactured outrage is outrageous!!!

The guy got what he deserved. Nothing more to see here.

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Voting closed 16

A felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier in MA, NH, and pretty much everywhere else.

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Voting closed 6

That is not part of the sentence. That is a consequence of the sentence.

There are all sorts of naturally flowing consequences to a conviction, such as injury to reputation. Those are not usually considered part of the punishment that society is meting out.

An accountant convicted of fraud is going to have a damn hard time finding another accounting job, but we don't pretend that the court/society has stripped the person of their livelihood.

I'm genuinely flabbergasted that anyone could be puzzled whether this is punishment enough. This was not a heat-of-the-moment mistake. He piled more lies on top later. Astounding.

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Voting closed 32

The plea to felony charges goes hand in hand with his termination. It is absolutely a factor in the decision, and it’s discussed with BPD.

This will save the department years and hundreds of thousands in legal fees not to have to litigate his termination.

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Voting closed 9

Are you saying that if he has been convicted without a plea, BPD's ability to terminate would be in question? (Obviously anyone can litigate, but would it not be relatively straightforward?)

Are you saying that as part of this plea deal, he has agreed not to contest his termination by the BPD?

Are you a cop?

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Voting closed 9

Anyone with a felony conviction is prohibited by statute from being a police officer in MA.

When the officer was convicted, he immediately became ineligible for continued employment at BPD. Therefore BPD doesn’t have to litigate his termination at the civil service commission or before an arbitrator.

There is value in teaching a plea deal to get a conviction.

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Voting closed 12

This has to do with Civil Service appeals. In many disciplinary actions like this, the person being fired or suspended even has to agree not to appeal the decision to Civil Service (who will often rule in favor of an officer like this).

So this guy signs something with the DA/Union/BPD/City saying he won't try to get his job back, appeal through civil service, or try to get the charges dismissed. The DA says what they will give and an agreement is made.

I believe that is what they are talking about here.

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Voting closed 16

Thanks for the explanation and very interesting. It sounds like the Civil Service process is horribly broken if this is what the DA needs to resort to in order to make sure this guy doesn't work for the BPD anymore.

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Voting closed 13

Take away his drivers license. Do this for any criminal road rage incidents. It will save lives.

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Voting closed 36

He could pull over and ticket all the rich kid pricks on bikes, especially the ones who say really, really nasty things about the police in general, especially ones who are killed by accident, for running stops signs and red lights.

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Voting closed 18

Did a mean biker hurt your feelings, Johnny?

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Voting closed 30

How could such a pansy hurt my feelings?

By the way, Gaffin - Cool that you are letting in Anons. Why don't you let them all in? Scared to let other people see what was actually said about him commenting on a dead person killed in an accident?

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Voting closed 11

How could such a pansy hurt my feelings?

In case anyone was in doubt, this is a homophobic slur.

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Voting closed 39

I use it because he is a pathetic person.

Sorry if your word police scope is so narrow.

Just remember folks, if you someone thinks you are insulting someone because someone takes offense that it might be homophobic in nature. All is bad.

If that same person regularly insults a group of people, but particularly harps on a person who was killed, killed, think about that. That's ok. Got it.

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Voting closed 13

You Can Take It That Way

It's a well-known homophobic slur. Claiming that you were unaware of this connotation is disingenuous.

Sorry if your word police scope is so narrow.

Sorry if your need to use slurs without getting called out for them is going unfulfilled.

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Voting closed 29

Cop.

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Voting closed 7

Mr. Back the Blue.

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Voting closed 10

But I at least I have some pissed off some people who are open in their disdain for the police.

I also have a morality governor that makes me call out those who mock the death of someone.

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Voting closed 4

That was you right, screaming about a hate crime for someone saying Baker looked like a potato?

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Voting closed 9

What are you talking about?

I'm very curious to know what unpublished anon comments you are aware of that Adam has not allowed to post, and how you know the contents of these anon posts that only the author and Adam's eyes ever glanced upon.

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Voting closed 22

is why he spends so much of his time viewing articles and commenting on a site if he has such a huge problem with its moderation policy.

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Voting closed 23

Because he gets attention (even if it's negative) and some sort of "validation". Also,
it's free and it's so much easier than going to see a therapist.

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Voting closed 16

He spends so much time sitting driving and poking at his keyboard and getting angry while sedentary that his endocrine and cardiovascular systems are most certainly shot by now.

So he thinks he's a mean bad man by raging on the internets, always ready for a bar fight, when in reality he's a pasty wreck of a man, and pretty much any reasonably fit cyclist could lay his ass in the gutter if he ever actually tried starting something not involving motor vehicle assault.

IMAGE(https://cdn.quotesgram.com/img/23/31/42856791-jeremy-wright-coward.jpg)

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Voting closed 13

I too am very curious about that!

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Voting closed 10

How do you know which anonymous comments I'm not posting? Are you sock-puppeting yourself? Are there no more rewarding hobbies out there?

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Voting closed 28

Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.

Johnny is a classic user of this bullying tactic.

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Voting closed 14

“ Too Bad He Is Not Still A Cop “ ??!!!!

You need to have your head examined.

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Voting closed 15

...especially the ones who say really, really nasty things about the police in general

Not a good idea. This is precisely why we have the First Amendment. Doing that could get himself in even more hot water on civil rights charges.

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Voting closed 13

Perhaps you should learn to ride a bike, burn off that fight-or-flight angst, and get your ass in shape.

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Voting closed 13

In these icy conditions, it's going to be hard enough to keep one hand on the wheel and the other hand on a cheeseburger, without the added distraction of typing out how much you are hurting drivers' feelings

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Voting closed 20

It is about this person who tries to be a comedian. He's terrible at it despite having good writers. Everyone just kind of winces when he puts something out there. He reaches for a fat joke. That sometimes works, but here is doesn't. It is actually quite pathetic.

Do you get royalties because they used you as a model for the main character? You should. You are spot on with the portrayal.

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Voting closed 12

Your feedback is valuable

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Voting closed 30

So the Boston Police “investigated” one of their own and the “punishment” is a tiny fine and a slap on the wrist. I wonder what other crimes he committed that the BFD swept under the rug.

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Voting closed 22

Take it up with the DA's office - they're the ones who charged him and offered a plea bargain.

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Voting closed 22

The level of ignorance of the criminal justice system in this comments section is staggering. The police don’t make charging decisions, the DAs office does. And a judge presided over the plea hearing.

This is a good result. A reckless, dishonest cop can no longer operate in MA.

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Voting closed 11

We make fun of the Mets every year for paying a dead million to Bobby Bonilla...but then turn right around as a society and throw money at people who didn't need the incentive to take government jobs.

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Voting closed 5

I can only assume he has no prior convictions/record and since this wasn’t a violent offense and this being MA, the citizenry should be glad he was ‘trialed’ at all.
Losing his job and paying the fines seems just.

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Voting closed 10

I keep seeing it here.

If someone shoots and kills someone, we don't consider their future inability to hold a gun license to be part of the sentence!!

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Voting closed 12

There's no guarantee they even get convicted, much less go to prison.

I don't mean to sound too harsh, but if you think everyone who breaks the law goes to jail, you're listening to too much NPR. In Massachusetts, you pretty much have to dedicate your life to crime to get more than probation. This guy was never going to be locked up, and the felony conviction was a good result from the DA.

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Voting closed 9

There's no guarantee they even get convicted, much less go to prison.

That has nothing to do with the point being made here. When you commit a crime and there are extralegal consequences, such as losing your job, those are by definition not part of the judicial punishment.

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Voting closed 9

Attorneys will argue all the time that their client lost money or their job or something else and the judge will take that under consideration.

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Voting closed 13

Attorneys will argue all the time that their client lost money or their job or something else

...which is not judicial punishment. It's consequences. Not the same thing.

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Voting closed 6

A judge can be more lenient with judicial punishments if someone loses their job (or something else) because of their actions. .

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Voting closed 10

...would be a deeply stupid, harmful thing to do.

I mean, assuming you give a damn about public safety.

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Voting closed 6

It’s your friend. He lost his job, is prohibited from employment as a police officer in Massachusetts, and may lose his pension. At the very least, his pension will be capped because he will lose service time he would accrued were he not fired.

He just lost millions of dollars. This is a good penalty, and it gets a dishonest officer off the streets.

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Voting closed 12

I've already responded to this argument. I respectfully disagree. But, if you are going to make this argument, you need to consider his ability to mitigate loss of wages. It's unlikely that he's going to sit on his thumbs for the rest of his life.

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Voting closed 16

If this rufffles your feathers, wait till you hear about the gang members walking around our streets after three or four firearm arrests.

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Voting closed 9

Those gang members ain't on the public payroll for starters.

Nor do they have the power and authority of police.

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Voting closed 19

Probation? He should be fired. I am sure this isn't the first time he's pulled something like this.

But sure...there's no problem at all with the police in this country.

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Voting closed 8

I read "probation" as in "on probation from his job", but it sounds like he *is* being fired -- I think this is actually "on probation instead of imprisonment".

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Voting closed 5

What a scumbag.

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Voting closed 22

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if someone is convicted of a crime, and that person is in law enforcement, the fact that they are in law enforcement should be considered an aggravating factor at sentencing. That goes double if, as in this case, the crime involved abuse of their police powers.

Of course, this is never going to happen, because judges, DAs, and the police all see themselves as part of the same team, so in practice cops get away with--sometimes literally--murder.

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Voting closed 48

It says the officer "was involved in a road rage incident". The passive voice is used especially well here. Who committed the road rage? What specific actions did they commit?

What was forged or invalid about the ticket? Why couldn't the officer send a valid ticket?

Is it unusual for the traffic ticket magistrate to throw away a ticket on these grounds? I would have assumed they take the police's side by default.

Why does it cost the victim $525 to appeal a traffic ticket? That's an abusive system.

If the victim hadn't appealed the ticket, would the system happily have processed the $790 fine (for what offense?) and applied the insurance surcharges?

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Voting closed 12

It says the officer "was involved in a road rage incident". The passive voice is used especially well here. Who committed the road rage? What specific actions did they commit?

Here's what Google says (and here). Sounds like Officer Clown Shoes took exception to the other party's driving, but never came up with any statements about just what was so offensive that he felt compelled to "[approach] the victim’s car “dangerously close” to his bumper, honked its horn and forced the victim’s vehicle inches from the median bumper" as an appropriate remedy, and then to follow it up with his threat. When confronted, rather than citing examples of the allegedly dangerous driving that set him off, he instead lied about the incident and the ticket, repeatedly (and badly). I'm going to guess based on that that whatever the other party may have done, it was not even close to justifying the cop's own reckless behavior behind the wheel, and that's why he didn't bring it up. The retaliation is, of course, completely indefensible.

What was forged or invalid about the ticket? Why couldn't the officer send a valid ticket?

He was a Boston police officer. The incident took place in Stoneham.

Is it unusual for the traffic ticket magistrate to throw away a ticket on these grounds? I would have assumed they take the police's side by default.

In the case of flagrant abuse of authority like this? I should hope to hell they'd throw it out.

If the victim hadn't appealed the ticket, would the system happily have processed the $790 fine (for what offense?) and applied the insurance surcharges?

Do you honestly need to ask this?

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Voting closed 10

It takes a special kind to write a personal note in their forged ticket.

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Voting closed 7

I see the arguments below. Let's look at the bright side guys: At least he didn't shoot the other motorist.

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Voting closed 4

Let's look at the bright side guys: At least he didn't shoot the other motorist.

He needed both hands to force him off the road.

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Voting closed 4