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What Would It Take...

...to get Mayor Tom Menino to publicly express outrage at the behavior of a Boston Police officer?

Extorting money from drug dealers while in uniform apparently doesn't rise to that level. Neither does providing protection for drug runners. Extorting sexual favors from prostitutes while on duty? Nope. Being convicted of perjury? Uh-uh. Putting an innocent man in prison by falsely claiming a fingerprint match? Nah. Shooting another officer and leaving the scene, because he thought you were too drunk to drive? Gosh no!

Heck, you can even hand out "less-lethal" weaponry to officers under your command who have not been trained to use them, tell them to fire the weapons into a crowd of mostly harmless revelers, fire the weapons yourself in a haphazard manner without using the sites, and then lie to investigators about it all after an innocent girl gets killed -- and you still won't get the Mayor to denounce you in public.

I've seen and heard the Mayor publicly express disgust, pain, and outrage on numerous occasions, toward many targets, for many reasons: the Cartoon Network, Opie & Anthony, college hoodlums, the NRA, etc. But not toward his cops, no matter how badly they've disgraced their uniform. And his commissioners have generally followed suit, discussing revelations about bad cops -- if at all -- with very careful phrasing, always insisting first and foremost that 99% of the BPD is honest and good.

Ed Davis showed how it's done yesterday, speaking with obvious bitterness and anger about the latest offender. Whether or not Davis can actually implement his "three strikes" disciplinary plan, the public -- and those vast majority of good, honest cops -- got the chance to see that the commissioner truly takes strong offense to cops like Ortiz abusing their position. By doing that, Davis gave everyone reason to believe that bad cops will be dealt with -- so they can have more faith in the good cops.

As for Menino, he typically avoids comment altogether, as he has so far concerning Ortiz. When forced to comment -- say, when the city finally admitted culpability in the death of Victoria Snellgrove -- he always does so grudgingly, vaguely conceding that "mistakes were made," and showing no sense of anger at being betrayed by someone privileged to wear the badge in his city. A little outrage would be nice.


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