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 POLICE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES THE PUBLICLY FUNDED FIGHT TO AVOID SCRUTINY

Ok, I know that when I left off in my last blog, I indicated that I was going to return to the topic of a particular mismanaged blight on the Massachusetts landscape that is being slipped a pass by our governor…but that will have to wait until next week.

Despite how it may seem, I have great respect for police officers. I do, however, recognize that some of them do bad things. To me, if you are hired to be a hero five days a week, it does not entitle you to act like a criminal on the other two.

I also have to recognize lunacy when I see it. And, dear readers, I have to admit that this seems like lunacy.

The Boston Herald  tells us that the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association is now seeking an injunction to prevent the department from ordering police officers to wear body cameras as part of the pilot program slated to begin next week.

The association, which represents 1,500 BPD officers, filed paperwork in Suffolk Superior Court this week to seek an injunction aimed at preventing a pilot program that would have 100 randomly selected Hub police officers wearing body cameras beginning September 2nd.

“We worked hard with officials of the City and the Department to bring the citizens of Boston a body camera pilot program that made sense and protected everyone’s rights,” BPPA President Patrick Rose said in a statement. “The City and the Union agreed from day one that the best way to go was to make it a voluntary program. The BPPA can’t stand by and allow the City to blatantly violate the agreement it signed just over a month ago — we had to act and act quickly to prevent this miscarriage of justice.”

“Furthermore, the BPPA draws the Court’s attention to a large-scale 2016 Rand Corporation study showing that officers wearing body cameras are no less likely to use force but are 15% more likely to be assaulted than officers without cameras,” the association’s announcement read. “The BPPA argues that both the damage to the collectively-bargained arbitration process and the increased risk of harm to officers from the City’s unilateral action constitute irreparable harm and that only injunctive relief can provide a remedy.”

Next week, there is supposed to be a full evidentiary hearing on this matter. Among the witnesses anticipated are Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, Deputy Superintendent John Daley, BPD’s Chief Technology Officer, BPPA President Patrick M. Rose and Dan MacIssac, who is a member of the BPPA grievance committee, according to the union’s website according to the Herald.  Yes, our tax dollars will be well spent on law enforcement keeping us safe next week.

Well, maybe not so safe from law enforcement…

Gee, one would almost thunk we do not want an effective criminal investigation when it is a police officer in the hot seat…! (https://criminal.altmanllp.com/criminal-investigation.html)

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Struggle To Watch The Watchers

Ok, let me get this straight.

We are having this fairly expensive hearing so that we can fight police officers having to wear a camera which would only be a problem if something that they say basically does not happen happens. This from the same people who cannot understand why civilians would want to insist on their privacy and other such rights because it must mean they have something to hide.

The stated reasons against the body cameras are nonsense unless we are to believe, without any supporting documentation, that folks will suddenly see a body cam and want, on film, to attack the officer wearing it.  I suppose like a bull and the color red.

Imagine the message it would send if the law enforcement community’s response had been, “Sure.  We’ll be happy to wear the cam.  It will show once and for all that we are what we say we are.”

Instead, what we are getting is something akin to the belief that the only problem out there is the presence of those darned camera phones catching police officers shoot and beating non-threats.

How come that?

But, then, you are not reading this to know my opinion. You want to know what this means to you.

Frankly, I can see this position on the part of the police department as signifying  nothing but police unions trying to support the “thin blue line “so that, should officers act as they should not, as they assure us they are not, while we pay them to be the symbol of honesty and propriety…they are protected.

While you are not.

Oh, yes. And you get to pay to fund the cause of keeping police brutality under cover.

Have a great, safe and law-abiding Labor Day Weekend.

Well, try.

 

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