surefire way to rile activists is to beat a teenager in plain sight,
and tell witnesses that they can't record the free-for-all. Needless
to say, more than a few folks are furious in the wake of news that Boston
Police Department officers jabbed and kicked a 16-year-old inside a
Roxbury Community College building this past Friday.
time of this writing, more than 17,000 people have viewed a seven
minute YouTube video (above) in which what appears to be a mix of plain
clothes and uniformed officers repeatedly assault a juvenile in
custody. Despite claims that the alleged fugitive resisted arrest –
and a statement from Commissioner Ed Davis claiming that an
investigation is under way – more than a dozen respected local
leaders aired grievances this afternoon in front of BPD headquarters.
on all of us to answer the question of 'Who wants to do something
about this,'” said organizer Jamarhl Crawford, who also read from a
prepared statement. “This press conference has been called after
repeated attempts and pleas for the Mayor and Commissioner to open
the table to new ideas from fresh voices in order to combat all
violence in the city.”
brought more than just rhetoric. Representatives from the Boston
Black Men's Leadership Group and the National Action Network demanded
that a community civilian board be put in charge of reviewing the
case; an attorney from the law offices of civil rights attorney
Howard Friedman was also on hand to explain that it was perfectly
legal for onlookers to record the incident. “The [police sergeant
who told people they could not shoot video] should be disciplined,”
said attorney David Milton.
also noted that police brutality is not a new issue for Boston;
Crawford specified that the public is still in the dark about specifics
surrounding the April killing of Manuel DaVeiga, who died in a
shootout with state police and city officers. “The police must
serve and protect,” said former State Senator Bill Owens. “We
don't pay police officers to beat up on our children. We will not
tolerate these atrocities.”
this being the height of election season, most major news outlets
came to cover speeches by local clergy and other concerned
individuals. So it looks like this story might have legs after all.
Tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, starting at 5pm, community residents –
not united under any particular banner – will gather outside of the
Roxbury Crossing T stop for a larger public rally.
here as a concerned resident,” said James Hills, a former special
assistant to Mayor Menino and city liaison to the faith community.
“We want the response of young people to this to be constructive