Boston Police Commissioner Wants Cameras Further Away From Cops, Criminal Charges For Not Assisting Officers

from the Accountability-Free-Zones dept

Earlier this year, Texas legislator Jason Villalba attempted to shortchange the First Amendment in the name of "officer safety" by making it illegal to film police officers from within a 25-foot, constantly-moving radius. His proposed law was greeted with criticism (and death threats, according to Villalba) and was consequently discarded because it was a terrible, arbitrary law that had only the briefest of flirtations with reality and logic.

For one thing, the law would have prompted officers to split their attention between the job at hand (whatever crime they were responding to/investigating) and Villalba's directive. Of course, officers could easily choose not to enforce this bad law, but far too many officers have been filmed leaving crime scenes just to hassle citizens with cameras. And the instant the officer started closing the gap between him and the photographer, a law would have been violated in letter, if not in spirit. Villalba is a staunch supporter of law enforcement agencies and his proposal was just an attempt to give officers a little less accountability.

So, despite this bill being ridiculed out of existence, hopes springs eternal in those who feel the public is the worst of their problems. Boston's police commissioner is now asking for the same accountability halo for his officers.

Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans is calling for laws to regulate the proliferation of cellphone-toting citizens and so-called cop watchers dedicated to recording potential police misconduct — a trend that has given rise to new challenges and risks for officers at crime scenes.

“If we can get legislation that protects both sides, I’m all for it,” Evans told the Herald late last week. “Should you be up in a police officer’s face and agitating them? Absolutely not. Because we’ve seen it through all these demonstrations. It interferes sometimes with us (being) able to look at the crowd and focus on what our mission is.”
Evans is wholly disingenuous throughout the course of this article. He first tries to spin this as a problem caused by citizens. His claim that people are "agitating" officers by getting "up in their faces" may be minimally true, but it's far more common to see police officers walking up to people filming them and getting in their faces. Generally, citizens filming police activities don't approach cops. It's almost always the other way around. So, if there's an issue here, it should be addressed with officers first, who seem far too willing to abandon the "mission" just to shut down recordings.
“But when you’re just out there for the very reason of, you know, trying to get a gotcha moment, that’s irritating to us,” Evans said, pointing to instances on July 4 and following the March shooting of officer John T. Moynihan, when police were met by a group of vocal video-takers at the edge of the scene.
This sort of argument has been raised before to defend actions taken against photographers. It's the law enforcement equivalent of the childhood go-to complaint, "He started it!" If officers would simply focus on their jobs rather than citizens and their cameras, there would be fewer "gotcha moments." Nothing about enforcing the law translates to "taking the bait." Every officer that shows restraint in the face of someone hoping for a "gotcha moment" will come out of the incident victorious. It will be the photographer who looks ridiculous, rather than the other way around. If Evans is using this as justification for a protective, camera-free space around cops, he's basically admitting his officers have self-control issues and cannot handle being "irritated."

Evans goes even further than Villalba, however, when he starts advocating for arresting citizens who don't leap in the moment they sense an officer might have lost the upper hand in an altercation.
“During the altercation, as officers struggled to subdue the suspect, they noted that they were being videotaped by the large crowd that had gathered,” officers wrote in their report. “In need of help, officers asked members of the crowd and a security guard for help. No help was offered.”

Evans said that should never happen. “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,” he said.
It would seem that paying out settlements for police misconduct isn't financially damaging enough. Now, Evans wants to open his department and the city of Boston up to additional lawsuits for injuries sustained by citizens providing mandatory assistance to struggling cops. And what happens if the responding member of the public takes it too far and provides some additional excessive force of their own? The subdued suspect may look at police officers and their immunity and decide it's much easier to sue a citizen who isn't protected by this legal shield.

While I understand his frustration that the public seems more interested in watching than helping, the public is usually similarly unhelpful when other citizens are receiving a beatdown. And the larger the crowd, the less likely it is that anyone's going to put their own lives/health on the line for someone else. Evans says "someone" should be held responsible in situations like this, while discussing a "crowd." But who? Any random person? All of them? The security guard? If people are going to have their preference to remain uninvolved in altercations criminalized, so should officers who refuse to show the same deference to the public -- either by responding to every perceived threat with acts of violence or by pointing out that "protect and serve" isn't actually part of any police department's policies or credo.

Evans' low-key pitch for legislation on these issues shows he truly believes police officers deserve more rights than citizens. He believes cops should work in an irritant-free environment with the knowledge that the general public will put itself in harm's way to save a public servant.

Filed Under: assisting officers, boston, filming police, photographs, photography, police


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 3:01am

    If you need to /force/ people to help you, that should tell you something

    Evans said that should never happen. “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,” he said.

    This is particularly disgusting when you consider that in several cases, one even reaching the Supreme Court, the police have argued that they do not have a legal responsibility to protect anyone, something that the courts have agreed with.

    So basically the police aren't required to put their safety at risk by helping the public, but if a member of the public shows the same self-interest, it should be a criminal offense.

    Hypocrisy and double-standards at their finest.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:46am

      Re: If you need to /force/ people to help you, that should tell you something

      Let us get this straight:

      - He wants citizens to put their life in danger, going against the very reason we have a police force.

      - He wants a citizen to assault another citizen without the first having done any harm to the latter, which is most definitely illegal.

      - He additionally wants this assault to be carried out at the request of a police officer without presenting any evidence that the citizen in question ever broke any laws.

      This basically legalises the Hunger Games and impromptu gladiatorial combat for the amusement of the police.

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      • icon
        Dan (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re: If you need to /force/ people to help you, that should tell you something

        He wants a citizen to assault another citizen without the first having done any harm to the latter, which is most definitely illegal.

        There are lots of problems with this proposal, but this isn't really one of them. You have the right to use force (including deadly force, if warranted) in defense, not only of yourself, but also of third parties (including third parties you don't even know). The rules surrounding this are murky and vary from state to state, and you can open yourself up to significant liability if you don't know them well. Thus, most self-defense instructors would advise against doing so--but it can be legal.

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:31am

      Re: If you need to /force/ people to help you, that should tell you something

      At least here if you try to do stuff the cops do you are the criminal. If the cops are in you should let them do their jobs, trying to 'help' will put you in bad waters. The only way you can 'help' is 1- if there is a warrant compelling you to grant access or 2- if the cop asks you and the situation does not involve violence or crime (ie: a car accident when first responding). So wtf does this guy want?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 3:44am

    “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,”

    What are the odds that anybody rushing in to help would get shot for trying to assist criminal?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:11am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:44am

      Yes, while running in it is hard for anyone to definitively judge your intentions. Are the police going to assume you're helping or ganging up on them. What is the recourse for them seeing it differently? Because it will happen. the officer is hyped up and potentially fearing for their lives and some other dude runs at them. With a General distrust of the public being not uncommon, What are they going to think?

      There is zero legal requirement for any bystander to provide assistance. Maybe a moral one could be argued but the law does not require you to do a damn thing.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:35am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:44am

        "Maybe a moral one"

        How is there a moral requirement to help a cop murder a citizen?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:32am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:44am

        The commissioner that said it was clearly delusional when he did. He wasn't thinking when he said it.

        Which kinda shows what kinda commissioners we have. How did this guy ever become commissioner anyways?

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      • identicon
        DMNTD, 13 Aug 2015 @ 1:09pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:44am

        Ummm "potentially fearing for their lives"? Have you been under a rock? It's a fact that when a cop steps outside they are in complete fear for "their lives", haha.

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        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:46am

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:44am

          Being alive makes them fear for their lives -- after all, nobody gets out of living alive!

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:13am

      Re:

      Shot, tazed, pepper sprayed, charged with 'assaulting a police officer'...

      Yeah, trying to help would be insanely risky for the person doing it. If they were very, very lucky, the cop they helped would care enough to make sure that only the one that they were fighting was charged and/or tossed in a cell, rather than both in a vindictive or apathetic fit.

      And should other cops arrive on the scene? Yeah, the 'good samaritan' would be screwed. Three people in a fight, one of them a cop? They're not going to carefully assess the situation or care that one of them was trying to help, it's going to be batons, pepper spray, and assault charges for both.

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    • identicon
      AW, 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      I was thinking this same thing. You're more likely to have the cop mistake your help and shoot you. They are already trigger happy and hopped up on steroids. No thank you, I will not be getting between an angry dog and their bone.

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      • icon
        Dirkmaster (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re:

        I don't care if the cop looks me in the eyes and pleads for help. Is HIS immunity going to cover me as well? Hell no. So when the perp sues everyone involved, the cops walk free and I'm left holding the bag. And will he remember asking for help? Will he come to MY defense then? SURE he will. And I have some coastal property in Arizona I'd like for you to purchase sight-unseen.

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    • icon
      Stan (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 12:08pm

      Re: What are the odds?

      "What are the odds.."?

      Easy to calculate since the odds go up as the helper's skin color gets darker.

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:45am

      Re:

      I'd say about 99%. And that's when the cop has ordered them to rush in and help.

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  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:23am

    These cops can't do their job to begin with and they want untrained civilians to help?

    Lead balloon anyone?

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  • identicon
    me@me.net, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:23am

    Let's see

    1) The cop took a dangerous job, the danger is for them, not for citizens.

    2) the catch-22: Leap in to assist officer, get arrested for interfering, likely by the same cop or his buddies, no thanks.

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    • icon
      Josh (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:17am

      Re: Let's see

      In Boston today, 300 people were killed. It started when several people tried to assist a cop who was struggling on the ground. The cop believe he was being rushed, pulled his weapon and shot them.

      Several other people, who were required to provide assistance, came up to help. Several other officers on the scene opened fire. Due to the amount of of people coming to look, the swat team was deployed.

      Because the blocks around the area had multiple police offices and we can't get within 25 feet, we were unable to get any video of what happened or the result.

      This is Josh reporting for BS TV

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  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:30am

    On the other hand...

    Rushing to the assistance of citizens abused by cops would also be required?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:42am

      Re: On the other hand...

      Nonsense, everyone knows that anyone in the process of being beaten or attacked by a cop deserves it by definition, since a cop would never attack someone without acceptable justification. And since you can't help someone who's receiving a justifiable beating(that would be obstruction of justice after all), even attempting to do so is grounds for assault charges and getting your own beating. /s

      Yeah, that's what I find 'funny' about the statement he made, it assumes that the suspect, rather than the cop, is always the instigator of a conflict, when it's more often than not likely to be the opposite. Why would, or should, the public help a cop assault another member of the public? Not the public's fault or problem if a cop picks a fight with someone willing and able to fight back.

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      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:50am

        Re: Re: On the other hand...

        This.

        If I see a cop break the law, especially if it's a victim crime, you'd better believe I'll step in and arrest the SOB.

        But then, the state I live in has pretty solid statutory support for citizen's arrests. I'd hate to try it elsewhere.

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  • icon
    Richard (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:45am

    Videoing

    Huh - By videoing the fight they are providing vital evidence that could be used by the police later.

    Any sensible police chief would commend them for doing so.

    In the UK I have never seen any policeman or police representative recommend that you should physically help an officer in a way that puts you in any danger. They always say that the only assistance they would expect is that you help by calling for backup.

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    • icon
      Richard (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:46am

      Re: Videoing

      By videoing the fight they are providing vital evidence that could be used by the police later.

      Of course I am assuming that the officer is behaving correctly at this point....

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      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 17 Aug 2015 @ 12:51am

        Re: Re: Videoing

        But what if you come upon a man laying face down on the ground, hands cuffed behind him, not resisting at all -- as an officer beats him bloody screaming at him to stop resisting?

        Do you intervene?

        If the cop looks up and orders you to help him, what do you do?

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  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:49am

    I can just imagine a loose gun scenario and some bozo who can't shoot straight...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:07am

    Pot, Meet Kettle

    “But when you’re just out there for the very reason of, you know, trying to get a gotcha moment, that’s irritating to us.”

    Umm, isn't that what cops do to citizens? It's irritating to citizens, too.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:20am

      Re: Pot, Meet Kettle

      If there weren't cops who gave them "gotcha" moments, much of the reason to film would go away. It'll still get filmed but more of a just bc it's interesting way rather than trying to catch the police.

      It's really all just a result of certain members of the police giving the public fodder to disparage them. If they all did their job perfectly this would not be an issue

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 10:48am

      Re: Pot, Meet Kettle

      The "Broken Windows" policy of law enforcement is built entirely of "gotchas". Pervasive recording of police is just citizens trying to create a balance by using LEAs' own methodology.

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  • icon
    Prashanth (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:13am

    Door-to-door policing

    I was in the Boston area when the Marathon attacks happened over 2 years ago, and the police response then was to go door-to-door, without a warrant, demanding any and all possible information on the whereabouts of the suspects from ordinary people. (The city and surrounding areas were basically shut down on that Friday too.) If something like that were to happen again (specifically including the detail about going around without a warrant), can the police arrest someone in their own home for "not cooperating with an investigation"? I'm getting the sense that unfortunately the Boston police forces got a bit drunk with power after the Marathon attacks (though I do commend their bravery through the ensuing firefight against the suspects). Plus, on a more topical note, after last night's spate of shootings, I think Boston police should probably focus on doing their own jobs as best as they can instead of trying to pull citizens into the line of fire.

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    • identicon
      AW, 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:56am

      Re: Door-to-door policing

      I stayed up listening to the police chatter that night. They sounded damned near giddy. I'm glad that they apprehended Tsarnaev, but the fact that people were charged for stuff found in their homes during a police invasion troubles me. Police declared martial law and invaded houses and areas and to hell with the Constitution if you've got pot in your house.

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  • identicon
    Michael, 13 Aug 2015 @ 5:19am

    “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a suspect is on the ground struggling for their life, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them from being beaten to death by police officers,”

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  • identicon
    DogBreath, 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:13am

    So long, and thanks for all the schadenfreude

    Evans said that should never happen. “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,” he said.


    So, basically, the Boston Police Commissioner wants to implement, "The Finale (Seinfeld)", but only if it involves a cop?


    While waiting for the airplane to be repaired, they witness an overweight man named Howie (John Pinette) getting carjacked at gunpoint by a criminal (Jerry Thomas Johnson). Instead of helping him, they crack jokes about his size while Kramer films it all on his camcorder, then proceed to walk away. The victim notices this and tells the reporting officer Matt Vogel (Scott Jaeck), who arrests them on a duty to rescue violation that requires bystanders to help out in such a situation.


    Good luck with that. I only hope that anyone arrested under such a law, doesn't get a "Jackie Chiles" type lawyer to represent them, as that never works out too well.

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  • icon
    zarprime (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:23am

    What's good for the goose...

    Since it gets said every time a proposed new law encroaches on citizens' rights, I feel it needs to be said here (and every time something like this is proposed): "if the police aren't doing anything wrong, what have they got to fear?"

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  • identicon
    Bill Evans, 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:30am

    Curtail zoom lenses

    I forgot to mention I'm also against filming of police with a greater than 1x zoom.

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  • identicon
    Ambrellite, 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:41am

    It's necessary!

    Remember: cops need civilians to put their lives in danger to protect the safety of the public. If we don't protect cops using our own bodies as meat shields, we'll all be in danger of seeing someone smoking marijuana, or even selling loose cigarettes! I trust the police when they say they'll generously reward our selflessness by not throwing us in prison.

    /s

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  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:46am

    More proof of the American police state.

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  • identicon
    Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 13 Aug 2015 @ 6:59am

    Adult Swim

    Wow, Boston - lol

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:06am

    I don't think the police are the problem. It's the miscommunication from their superiors that are creating this problem and not communicating with their officers on how to handle the public.

    Second, it's also these morons with their cellphone cameras that get too close to these cops while also shouting at them. It's common sense that you stand a good deal away from the cops while they do their jobs. How many videos have we seen where morons are standing too close to these officers while they are investigating an incident?

    I would put that number at over 60%. Not saying that everyone is guilty of doing this but that these so-called 'cop-watchers' stage these altercations in order to provoke these cops.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      It's common sense that you stand a good deal away from the cops while they do their jobs.

      How far away is far enough, so far that they cannot see the cops?

      Not saying that everyone is guilty of doing this but that these so-called 'cop-watchers' stage these altercations in order to provoke these cops.

      Being a cop, is having a job where some people will try to provoke and annoy you, so cops should deal with it, without resorting to violence unless subjected to a physical attack.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      I don't think the police are the problem. It's the miscommunication from their superiors that are creating this problem and not communicating with their officers on how to handle the public.

      Uh, no, it absolutely is the police that are the problem. Their job involves tons of interacting with the public, if they don't know how to, or aren't able to do that in a calm, civil, and professional manner(first is optional but desirable, second is more important, third is non-negotiable), then they either need to quit or go back for more training so that they can.

      It's common sense that you stand a good deal away from the cops while they do their jobs.

      So long as they're not actively interfering with the cop's actions('distracting them' doesn't count, if someone is that easy to distract, then police work is not for them), it shouldn't really matter how close they are. Also, standing too far away would ruin one of the more valuable parts of recordings, the audio, by making it too faint, or too poor of quality, to use to determine what was said.

      How many videos have we seen where morons are standing too close to these officers while they are investigating an incident?

      Define 'too close'? 5 feet? 10 feet? 15, 20, 25? Again, so long as someone's isn't actively interfering with the actions of the police, the police can and should just ignore them. If they get too close, politely ask them to get back a little and give the cop some space to work.

      Not saying that everyone is guilty of doing this but that these so-called 'cop-watchers' stage these altercations in order to provoke these cops.

      As the AC above noted, police work is a stressful job, and this should not be surprising to anyone considering it as a career. If a cop can't handle someone with a camera in a calm manner, then they certainly won't be able to handle any real problems that crop up, and as such should quit, as the job is clearly beyond their ability to handle.

      Also, as the article notes, even if some of the ones with cameras are trying to get a response, so long as the cops ignore them or act in a civil manner then the one attempting to provoke them will get nothing, and they, rather than the cop, will be the one who looks foolish. All a cop has to do to counter the 'cop watchers' is act in a professional manner, how difficult is that?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      Nice try police commissioner William B. Evans.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      "I don't think the police are the problem."

      I think the police are clearly a very serious problem. So is police management.

      "it's also these morons with their cellphone cameras that get too close to these cops"

      There are existing noncontroversial laws about doing this whether or not a camera is involved, so the concern by the police is obviously not "morons who get too close". They concern is that their behavior is being recorded.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:14am

    This commissioner should be removed immediately as that statement of legislation is incompatible with law enforcement codes.

    If one of your gophers see this commissioner, you are setting a dangerous precedent and setting the conditions for a "them vs us" situation with your intended "legislation". I hope you fail and are removed as the alternative is much worse.

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  • icon
    sigalrm (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:18am

    For years, people have been told "don't get involved, call the police"

    For 20+ years now, the public has been told - starting early in grade school - "don't get involved, don't try to catch the bad guy, don't take matters into your own hands." It starts in school, where you'll be suspended without question if someone else punches you and you _don't_ respond.
    "Evans said that should never happen. “I’d also like to see some legislation that if a cop is on the ground struggling with someone, like he was the other night and everybody is videotaping, someone should be held accountable for not stepping up and helping them,” he said."

    Someone standing around video taping is almost certainly of a generation that has been raised from cradle-age with the "let the police handle it" training. And now we've come to it's logical conclusion. You won't over-ride that type of indoctrination with a law and wishful thinking.

    At most, you might expect someone to call 911 on behalf of the officer being beaten. Since that's what they've been trained to do.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:34am

      Re: For years, people have been told "don't get involved, call the police"

      "Someone standing around video taping is almost certainly of a generation that has been raised from cradle-age with the "let the police handle it" training"

      Perhaps. But I think it's far more likely that it's the result of the police having lost the trust and respect of the public.

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    • icon
      Jeremy Lyman (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:49am

      Re: For years, people have been told "don't get involved, call the police"

      That's exactly what I'd do if asked for help. Call the cops. After I backed away to a safe distance.

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 13 Aug 2015 @ 1:40pm

      Re: For years, people have been told "don't get involved, call the police"

      It starts in school, where you'll be suspended without question if someone else punches you and you _don't_ respond.


      I think you meant DO respond. That's how I got the only detention in high school I ever received - some boy took offense at being hit in dodgeball in gym and charged me swinging. I took ONE swing back after he broke my glasses (yes, bullies and the like WILL punch someone in glasses) and wound up in detention along with the jerk.

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  • identicon
    TMC, 13 Aug 2015 @ 8:54am

    A requirement to affirmatively act? Not without a Constitutional amendment, shithead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      A requirement to affirmatively act? Not without a Constitutional amendment, shithead.

      What is this "Constitution" thing of which you speak?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:04am

    I'd like to see someone throw all authoritative regimes' classic "If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about" back in Boston PD's face.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:29am

    I think imposing a duty to rescue is not a good thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:42am

    “But when you’re just out there for the very reason of, you know, trying to get a gotcha moment, that’s irritating to us,”

    For an officer to be caught in a 'gotcha moment' implies they did something wrong. The problem isn't that citizens are trying to catch them in a 'gotcha moment' the problem is that you are so insecure that your officers won't do something wrong that you don't want them to be caught when they do. That's not very reassuring to the public who should absolutely be trying to catch officers when they do something wrong. The proper solution to ensuring that officers aren't caught doing anything wrong is to ensure they don't do anything wrong to get caught for. Instead you want to ensure they don't get caught when they do something wrong. Not acceptable.

    and if your officers aren't doing anything wrong they shouldn't have any reason to be irritated. If they are so sensitive as to get irritated for being videotaped not doing anything wrong they shouldn't be officers to begin with because an officer shouldn't have an easily irritated temperament.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      Imagine if we created laws around what a police officer or a random person may consider 'irritating'. This blog post is illegal because cops find it irritating. Criticizing a cop is illegal because they consider it 'irritating'. Disagreeing with someone is illegal because it's 'irritating' to some. Shoot, anything and everything could be considered irritating to the wrong person. Since when should laws revolve around what the commissioner arbitrarily thinks is 'irritating'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Imagine if we created laws around what a police officer or a random person may consider 'irritating'.

        The chief only wants it for police officers. Because they're so "special".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 13 Aug 2015 @ 9:49am

    Who should be required to help

    "Evans says "someone" should be held responsible in situations like this, while discussing a "crowd." But who? Any random person? All of them?"
    Well the obvious answer is "the closest person", but that's probably the person fighting the cop. Oh, but that's perfect! Just pass a law requiring them to help the cop subdue themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 13 Aug 2015 @ 12:45pm

    Superficial Official

    Those are crocodile tears streaming down Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans face.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:02pm

    If a policeman was on fire, would you be required under that law to urinate on him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zonker, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:23pm

    Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans is calling for laws to regulate the proliferation of cellphone-toting citizens and so-called cop watchers dedicated to recording potential police misconduct — a trend that has given rise to new challenges and risks for officers at crime scenes.
    It would be a lot more effective if, rather than banning the act of recording police misconduct, you instead focus on putting an end to police misconduct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2015 @ 7:39pm

    These are the same idiots...

    Who seem to think that anything with flashing lights ... must be a bomb. Because Boston cops all know that terrorist are required by the "terrorist code of good conduct" to put flashing lights on bombs to make them readily identifiable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    M. Alan Thomas II (profile), 14 Aug 2015 @ 12:52am

    I believe that a crowd of people "helping" with law enforcement duties is generally termed a "lynch mob."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 2:10pm

    "You have nothing to hide..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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