Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

BOSTON COMMON IS THE LATEST SCENE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM’S “DIRTY LITTLE SECRET” (Part Two)

Everybody is shocked. If you are a regular reader of the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog, you shouldn’t be.

You know the dirty secret which everybody likes to ignore…to everybody’s detriment.

Let’s take this latest story as yet another example of said truth…

Allie, herein after referred to as “handgrip” does not want to be identified. Handgrip does, however, want to bring an allegation against law enforcement because of their handling of a Tea Party protest on the Boston Common. Specifically, handgrip is contemplating legal action against Boston police officer Vaden Scantlebury (heir after the “officer”) who was photographed with his hand around Handgrip’s throat.

Yes, Handgrip was a protester…while Handgrip could get the words out, that is. Handgrip indicates that Officer’s hand was used to push and not choke.

“He pushed me,” Handgrip explains. “I turned to him and said don’t push me. … Then he got angry. He grabbed me by the neck and then pushed me by the neck. He didn’t choke me.”

Boston police said they are scrutinizing the photo, which was taken by a 22-year-old college student, who uploaded it and other photographs of the event on the picture-sharing website Flickr.

“We need to review the totality of the circumstances and get a sense of what occurred before and after” the incident, Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said.

handgrip said Officer’s actions seemed inappropriate and the protester is considering legal action, although Handgrip was not specific.

Police arrested three people that Sunday at the Boston Common, where Tea Party activists, who had secured a permit to gather, clashed with counter-protesters, many of them representing the Occupy movement. At one point, several protesters charged the spot where Tea Party activists were speaking.

Handgrip said that He or she came to the rally to represent gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

Handgrip has indicated a preference that Handgrip not be identified by gender.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Officers And Agents Behaving Badly

Alleged security officers killing folks and covering it up, law enforcement agents messing around with prostitutes and haggling over the price, and local police perhaps a bit over zealous while “keeping the peace” by exhibiting violence.

if these things happened…it is hard to believe.”

Well, I suppose that if even one quarter of the things described in Peter Janney,s book, Mary’s Mosaic. Are true, then that is pretty beyond the pale . But the rest?

I suppose I am a bit jaded, having done this type of work for over 25 years. I have seen a lot of things. It still saddens me, however, when I have a client or a client’s family who becomes shocked at the criminal justice system. Suddenly, their world view that the “good guys” are all absolute heroes and the bad guys are all worthy of a one-way express trip to Hades.

Then they experience the same types of injustice that I witness on a regular basis.

And they are astonished that such a reality could really be true in the good ol’ U.S.A.

I sometimes want to shake them and asked them if they really believed that things are handled the same way as on the Andy Griffith Show. I don’t though. First of all, I would be charged with assault and battery and, second, they are going through enough without having to endure one of my criminal justice sermons.

“Is this another tirade of all law enforcement is bad and all criminal defendants are good?”

No, and I have never argued that. All law enforcement is not bad and not all criminal defendants are innocent.

They, along with all the other participants in the criminal justice system have one fatal flaw in common, though.

They are merely human.

That means human foibles, mistakes, misjudgments, prejudices, etc. All of it. From the loftiest judge to the most down-trodden street criminal.

However, one thing that does differ between them is their perspectives. How they view reality. As a wise woman with whom I am lucky enough to be acquainted puts it, their “narrative” of their lives and experiences.

Let’s take me for example. I have indicated that the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog would be posted four times per week. However, last week, the posting fell woefully short. Why?

Well, I am a lawyer and a writer, but I am also a parent, friend and family member. My personal responsibilities in those other areas, I felt, mandated that I not post all four blogs because I ran out of time. Seemed reasonable to me. However, what about some person hanging on the periphery of the criminal justice system who depends on each and every posting to stay out of jail?

Ok, assume for the sake of argument that such a person actually exists.

Well, by that person’s perspective, I simply did not live up to my responsibility. If I say there will be four blogs, then I should be committed to posting four blogs regardless.

I felt I was justified; that reader does not.

Which one is right? Is one of us right? I would say that we both are right.

“Ok, very nice. What does that have to do with the criminal justice system’s “dirty little secret”?

A great deal. A really great deal.

Check out the next blog to read how.

To read the latest article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2012/04/boston-police-review-actions-after-criticisms-handling-tea-party-counterprotest-common/zZckDNW5X280NQwBP4FtVP/index.html

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