Controversy erupts over what happened after police found a naked Harvard student standing in the middle of Mass Ave.

A Harvard student faces a variety of charges, including indecent exposure and assault and battery on an EMT, for an incident last night in which Cambridge and Transit Police responded to a traffic island on Mass. Ave. at Waterhouse Street to find him standing there naked.

Both the Harvard Black Law Students Association and Cambridge Police agree the black undergraduate was standing on a traffic island on Mass. Ave. last night. But what the association says turned into a case of police brutality against a black man just standing there, if completely undressed, is what police say was an attempt to keep a hostile man on narcotics from harming himself, responding police officers and bystanders - and they charge the 21-year-old student resisted arrest and spit "a mixture of blood and saliva" on an EMT in the ambulance taking him to a local hospital for observation.

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Sounds like Drugs

By on

sounds like this young fellow had a bad reaction to some combination of illegal street drugs hopefully the courts understand

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Voting is closed. 38

Well, this seems like a simple case

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I mean, is it a crime to take off all of your clothes in a public area and throw them at passers by, then become combative when the police try to take you into custody? That is yet another example of this era of mass incarceration that we live in now. How dare the CPD step in when they see a naked person in the middle of a square. It's just wrong.

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Voting is closed. 88

I don't think anybody's objecting to that

How dare the CPD step in

I don't think anybody's complaining about CPD stepping in; I believe they're complaining about failure to de-escalate when dealing with a crazy person.

You and I have both been around enough to know that some police officers' de-escalation skills qualify them for an ambassadorship, and others are perennially itching for the opportunity to use force.

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Voting is closed. 46

It's not as simple as that

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This terrifies me. I have come to twice from a seizure with black and blue bruises around my body. When I have a complex partial seizure I don't know what I am doing when I come to. I've lost my bladder so my first action has been stripping off my wet clothes. This has happened in the middle of the night, and I have walked down the street looking for help. I don't even know enough to get dressed, only that I shouldn't be naked. If I am not approached right I can become combative. This has happened a dozen times, and each time I have to spend 3 days in the hospital until I am fully aware again. Part of Epilepsy.com's mission is to educate law enforcement and EMT's how to approach and take care of a person who may likely have had a seizure. Thirty percent of those with complex partial seizures experience encephalopathy, like I do. Have some compassion.

I also heard of a man going into a diabetic coma reacting much the same way. The police beat him up, too.

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Voting is closed. 11

Intersting, except it was drugs this time

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Have you ever tried to assault a cop while having an epileptic seizure? When you get combative while having a seizure, are you saying that the person you assault should just "have compassion for you" or something? And how are you in control enough to strip down, but don't have the presence of mind to, I don't know, stay indoors where you will be less of a threat to the public at large?

My wife has a seizure disorder which thankfully is in check through medication. I've seen seizures in action (and I've been told that not all are the same.) I have compassion enough that over the time this was an issue I have seen logic in the stance of the Chief of Police in not naming the suspect, which sadly was not done by many media outlets. At the end of the day, if someone is out of control something needs to be done.

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Voting is closed. 11

Off topic, but...

Has your wife tried CBD for her seizures? My fur baby was having them every other month on traditional meds, but after I added CBD to her regimen she has been seizure free (knock on wood) for ten months.

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Voting is closed. 10

Nope

By on

It's a regularly prescribed medicine (lamotrigine?) Since she's been on it, she's been seizure free, though occasionally goes into "pre-seizure" mode. Unfortunately, for reasons I don't want to elaborate on, she went off the medication for a little bit (her neurologist wasn't happy, but was okay with the move as long as she was being honest about the affects of being off) which lead to the episode I experienced. My honest belief is that is was unlike an epileptic seizure, but only because I missed my high school geometry teacher having one of those one day in class.

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Voting is closed. 5

Cambridge PD could learn from Boston

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This is exactly the kind of incident where the Boston PD has shown itself to be exemplary in using de-escalation techniques. The BPD commitment to training officers how to handle this type of situation has shown time and again that this kind of outcome isn't necessary. They have handled situations where the person out of control was armed with knives or guns with less damage to anyone than happened in this situation with an unarmed man.

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Voting is closed. 54

Nothing is always

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But a much higher proportion of the time than any PD I know of. And Cambridge cops have had the opposite reputation for decades.

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Voting is closed. 32

This young man

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Was simply trying to free himself of the white mans clothing.

When people play the victim in ridiculous stories like this it hard to sympathize with them.

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Voting is closed. 74

Exorcism

Does anyone know how to get rid of internet demons like this?

Its a minor one, but they are known to grow if not sent back to the lower levels of 4Chan and Stormfront.

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Voting is closed. 32

Drugs

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I've seen COPS enough to know that people under the influence of drugs are very strong and don't follow orders. So after the guy doesn't listen and tries spitting at the officer, gentle treatment goes out the window. It'd be easier if the guy just followed the police orders.

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Voting is closed. 55

You think

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that dropping acid gives you super-strength? No wonder all the kids are doing it.

It's been a while, but I don't remember it that way. Super-paralysis, super-nervousness, super-stupidity, etc., yes, but none of that bit-by-radioactive-spider stuff.

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Voting is closed. 27

Stick to the swimmies

Yes. Swimmies make kids safe in water and drugs make people super human.

Must explain all the drownings of young men who have been drinking ... oh, wait ... didn't the alcohol make them super human and super strong enough to overcome not having swimmies?

Okay. Whatever.

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Voting is closed. 33

Where are you getting that?

So after the guy doesn't listen and tries spitting at the officer,

No version of the story I've encountered has any mention of him spitting anything at anybody until well after "gentle treatment went out the window."

It's possible I misread one of the stories as I'm kind of bleary-eyed at this point.

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Voting is closed. 28

I saw him Friday night

My husband and I saw him Friday night, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes before the arrest. He was at the opposite end of the Common, and not yet fully naked, but wearing only underpants at that point.

As a matter of fact, we had just crossed Mass Ave at the very spot where he was arrested, and I can understand why the police might have been anxious to get him under control and away from there as quickly as possible - the median island is narrow and the street widens there. No excuse for gut-punching him when he was already down, but I can see why they might have been afraid of him running into traffic.

(BTW, note to Cambridge Public Works: the pedestrian lights at that intersection are among the few in Cambridge that are still on-demand only, and the button for crossing Mass Ave from the Common side of Waterhouse Street is broken. Earlier in the evening we waited through 3 full light cycles before giving up and making a run across the street.)

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Voting is closed. 47

Ridiculous

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He was experiencing most likely a drug induced psychosis, which makes people veey dangerous and prone to uncontrollable violent behavior, and was getting his possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders. He was not seriously harmed by police. They got him under control so he could be appropriately arrested and removed from a situation where he could harm himself and others.

It's crap like this that makes people question ever charge of racism. To black advocacy groups: When was the last time you saw white advocacy groups (are there any?) or white people in general, get upset when a similar situation involving a white person happens?

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Voting is closed. 70

Yeah!! There is a white advocacy group!

It's called the American justice system and it has a very loud voice! Ask any black person who was shot carrying a cell phone.Or talked back. Or didn't talk back.

Oh, that's right, you can't, some of them are dead!!

And while you're at it, can you diagnose the sudden erection in my middle finger?

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Voting is closed. 50

Possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders?

You must not drink with EMT/firefighter types if you think that's a big deal to them. They fucking bathe in the stuff AND will TELL you about it!

As if any given person pulled from a wrecked car is NOT getting possibly infected bodily fluids all over everyone.

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Voting is closed. 30

Ask any mental health professional

whether the approved protocol for dealing with someone experiencing psychosis involves beating the shit out of them.

get back to us on what you learn.

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Voting is closed. 36

Help me out

and was getting his possibly infected bodily fluids on first responders.

By pointing out where the accounts refer to him spitting on anybody prior to the violent arrest?

Oh, and also,

To black advocacy groups: When was the last time you saw white advocacy groups (are there any?) or white people in general, get upset when a similar situation involving a white person happens?

That's a B- or C+ troll there. Here on this planet, advocacy groups are rarely formed to protect groups that generally have most of the advantages.

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Voting is closed. 30

Good thing

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Good thing we got all of these experts in dangerous situation intervention here on UHub. I can only imagine where we would be without their armchair expertise.

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Voting is closed. 46

Good Kid Bad Night

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Obviously he was in some sort of situation where he wasn't in his right mind obviously it required police intervention im pretty sure in a court all charges will be dismissed or worse case scenario continued without a finding

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Voting is closed. 28

HBLSA statement sounds rather entitled

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What the police did is called pain compliance; that is, they physically hurt you (not life endangering) to get your full attention and cooperation (compliance.) He was experiencing serious pssychosis. They did bothing wrong and prevented worse things from happening. Why didn't members of the HBLSA who witnessed the incident try and pacify the man and secure him at a safe location?

And the Cambridge City Manager statement is cringe-worthy.

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Voting is closed. 43

Not acceptable

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Never acceptable.

There is another word for "pain compliance" by the way ... IT IS CALLED TORTURE

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Voting is closed. 30

You should have joined the

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You should have joined the police department so you can show the world how it’s done!

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Voting is closed. 41

Doesn't need to.

All you need to do is look across the river at Boston to see better ways of getting it donw.

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Voting is closed. 37

Logical fallacy alert

Specifically "the ends justify the means" is a classic logical fallacy, one particularly favored by people who advocate for brutality as being acceptable means of "getting things done".

Major sections of the US constitution were set up to counter that, as were many amendments - you might look into that, and the body of case law around it.

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Voting is closed. 27

And you might look into

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And you might look into teaching at Police Academies across the country so you can teach them HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE!

You obviously now, kind of selfish to not share your expertise on policing with all these woefully inadequate departments.

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Voting is closed. 27

She doesn't have to look into that.

Boston PD has demonstrated that it knows "HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE" Their experience is valid and should be shared. If more departments were like Boston it would be a good thing.

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Voting is closed. 21

How about some statistics, darling

Or, maybe, ask yourself: How many problems has Cambridge had with this versus other local departments?

I don't need to offer expertise to point out that there are serious differences between departments and very well documented problems with how Cambridge PD has been handling these cases - problems that anyone with a pulse who doesn't have their nose shoved squarely up the nearest blue ass should notice.

IN THE MEANTIME my expertise IS in PUBLIC HEALTH, and this maim/murder/torture = "policing" bullshit of the sort you advocate is a MASSIVE public health problem in the US: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/key-issues/criminalization-of-men...

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Voting is closed. 31

But I still don’t understand

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But I still don’t understand why if you have all the solutions (or links at least), you didn’t join the Cambridge Police.

Or any police.

You clearly have all the answers. You, and not these officers, clearly would have been able to diffuse this situation. You know how it should be done. Yet you refuse to impart your infallable knowledge of urban policing on the departments. America is very violent and we need your sage wisdom, bravery and intellect teaching our police how to do it right!

I bet you wouldn’t even need a firearm. I bet you would be able to handle every crisis the police respond to and no one would get hurt, especially you. Share the answers!! Go out there and patrol in an urban environment because I believe you are the only one that can make us safe.

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Voting is closed. 24

It's "defuse"

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You really shouldn't use words whose meaning you don't know.

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Voting is closed. 21

You are an idiot

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She didn't say she had solutions - but Bob did note that they can be found across the river.

She pointed out a very well documented problem. You are too dim to understand that.

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Voting is closed. 15

Do you have any actual arguments

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Or are you going to continue making stuff up that nobody said in order to avoid the actual issues being raised here.

Nose shoved up the nearest blue arse, indeed.

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Voting is closed. 22

Yeah, no, wrong.

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So, on the one hand, you want to say that "[h]e was experiencing serious pssychosis", thus justifying the use of force, and on the other hand you want to claim that he was rational enough to respond to "pain compliance". That's just plain laughable. I train in a martial art that uses joint locks, I've trained with a LOT of people, and I can tell you that "pain compliance" is bullshit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes you're dealing with someone who just doesn't care. If, as you assert (got a cite?) Cambridge PD is actually teaching "pain compliance" as a method of controlling a violent person, then that's just plain stupid.

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Voting is closed. 38

"Pain Compliance"

"Pain compliance" may be bullshit as means of controlling a crazy person, but it's an awesome way to get your bully rocks off in a safe state-sanctioned manner.

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Voting is closed. 30

When I was a wide-eyed

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When I was a wide-eyed freshman, a senior gave me some good advice:

If you find yourself naked in public, with the Harvard police coming towards you from one side and the Cambridge police from the other, head for the Harvard police.

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Voting is closed. 27