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BPD officer arrested on domestic assault-and-battery charge, allegedly after fight with brother at West Roxbury funeral home the day after their father died

Boston Police report arresting James Kenneally, 52 and a member of the force since 1997, on a charge of domestic assault and battery around 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

WBZ reports the two brothers got into a fight at a West Roxbury funeral home, where the family had gathered to discuss funeral arrangements for their father, Thomas Kenneally, who had died the day before. Thomas Kenneally's funeral was arranged by the Gormley funeral home on Centre Street.

Kenneally, of Duxbury, has been placed on administrative leave as the BPD domestic-violence and internal-affairs units investigate, police say. He was arraigned in West Roxbury Municipal Court, police say.

Innocent, etc.



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So little time.

Blocks away from where someone related to BPD ran over a family on the sidewalk with a pickup a year ago and an off-duty BPD officer ran over a kindergartner earlier this month.

Just… all these bad apples. How does that happen?

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You seem to be a smart and decent person and a critical thinker.

I get that it sucks when people are sniping at your profession. I mean, I get frequent threats and online smear campaigns, both for working with LGBTQ kids and for working with court-involved families mainly on the family defense side.

But surely you can look at the criticism and see how a ton of it is justified, and decide what you're going to do to improve things. I frequently hear from people who've been further marginalized by mental health professionals and state systems about how harmful and problematic these professions are. And you know what? These are absolutely justified criticisms. It isn't something for me to take personally or get defensive about. I work in systems in which I wield a ton of power over vulnerable people, as do you. I've done harm. Not intentionally, but because I hadn't done as much work as I should have in educating myself and in really listening. I commit myself to continuing to listen, to acknowledge the position I'm in, and to strive not to do harm.

I have faith that you're able to do the same.

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You are someone who walks the walk. You could easily do both and I think that’s where this country does it wrong. We can have people be both cops and educators and firefighters/social workers at the same time. There surely are some physical limitations to some of these jobs but in the end we can figure out better solutions to this.. Is it the system? Is it just those get arrested in this profession get more attention? (We see the city/state politicians are probably on par).

I could type pages on how and why policing has evolved into what it is and why it will never change but that’s fruitless.

You also know there is no black and white in any of this.

The issue here is still the virtue signaling by the eMacs of the world who you know would never sacrifice anything for anyone like you would (emac is just a symbol for your anon internet troll, I’m not trying to be personal)

I do think our problem is that we specialize too many public jobs when we should and could easily combine lots of them…

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I mean, you and I both know that a large percentage of people DO go into jobs that have a lot of power over people for relatively little required formal education because, well, they want to have power over people. We can't ignore that this is a thing that happens and is a problem.

The combining thing is an interesting idea, and I do think you're right that it would weed out some of the outright bullies, but I still don't have a lot of faith in it. We actually see it played in out in the child "welfare" world when we compare states that have very high rates of intervention vs. those with low rates.

(For those less familiar with this system, the government stats are released as "rate of abuse/neglect," and Massachusetts has the highest. We do not in any way shape or form actually have anything like a high rate of actual harm to children; we have the most substantiated cases per capita, because this state routinely and proudly substantiates things like disagreeing with a provider over a non-life-threatening issue, tweens walking to school, or all sorts of nonsense. The rates of physical and sexual abuse of children are pretty consistent across the U.S. Most cases in the system anywhere in the U.S. are neglect, which is essentially poverty.)

In the states with high rates of involvement, such as this one, the culture in the system and in those adjacent to it is one in which most people working in it truly believe that DCF involvement "helps people." I constantly am in meetings in which DCF workers will say "no one is accusing anyone of anything, but we just want to make sure appropriate services are in place." Of course, there isn't a legal construct for this, and what DCF does is substantiate families for neglect when they've decided "we're going to open a case to make sure you get support" and they use all this language around "support" and "services" in most cases other than the rare horrendous ones, and so many of them truly believe that's what they're doing, and that they're doing people a favor by opening a case against them. These people aren't the aggressive playground bully types, but they are savior types who think they are helping people by giving them a record and forcing services on them. We are also the state with the highest rates of reporting to DCF, and so many teachers and providers truly think that they're supposed to report any time they're "concerned." I literally interview people for court investigations who tell me they don't think there's anything remotely like abuse or neglect occurring, but they reported to DCF to make sure the child is getting services. Which, no. If you think a child needs services, you suggest that to the family and you help them find them. So many problems are caused by these people who use their positions of power to make sure a parent is mandated to put their kid in speech therapy because they decide they know better than them (and often without even starting by DOING THEIR JOB and explaining to the family how it might help and listening to why they are reluctant before calling and alleging neglect).

My belief, and the belief of most progressive clinicians and those who deal with these systems is that they should not in any way be connected to any sort of "support" or "help." There should be completely separate systems that can help people access services and navigate systems. It's completely unethical that DCF has pull with providers and agencies that families don't, and can access financial resources that the family can't access by just going to an agency and saying they need childcare or rent assistance.

If DCF continues to exist at all (and again, for those unfamiliar, there is quite the robust mainstream movement by several law schools and social work schools to abolish it completely, as it hasn't resulted in increased safety of children), it should be an extremely barebones system, in which families are only involved if something serious has happened or is likely to happen, and which removes the blurred boundaries of "providing help." Also, this barebones system should only employ graduate-level clinicians, attorneys, and forensic folks, rather than the current system in which most employees making decisions have a bachelor's degree. This isn't to say that more trained folks are better or don't do harm, because we certainly do, but that families deserve to interface with people who truly know their shit and have the critical thinking skills to reflect. Hell, policing, should it continue to exist, should also move toward requiring graduate education and strong critical thinking skills. With great power comes great responsibility, and so forth.

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I’m not virtue signaling. I’m pointing out how many cops are maladjusted, cowardly losers with shit judgement who can’t handle their own business, let alone others. In a system (plus peers and bootlicking supporters) that excuses their bad behavior instead of holding them to any sort of higher standard.

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Grief, old family conflicts, alcohol maybe involved.

Nobody maimed, things happen, but in our punitive age nothing is unprosecuted.

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