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Thursday, March 20, 2008

[MA] "...allegations of officers roughing up wives, girlfriends, female strangers..."

...the BPD is also dealing with allegations of officers roughing up wives, girlfriends, and even female strangers while off duty... As the details of these abuse cases emerge, the likelihood is that the public will get a look at how political connections have served to protect police who engage in questionable conduct, on and off duty...

More police problems
Plus, Obama's Philadelphia moment

The Phoenix
3/19/2008
[Excerpts] ...At the moment, a series of troubling cases is coalescing in a way that threatens the progress Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis has made in cleaning up and retooling the troubled department. How the department handles this bad news - forthrightly, as seems to be the predilection of Davis, or by denying and minimizing, as Boston mayor Thomas Menino too often does - may determine how well Boston weathers yet another crisis in police confidence... the BPD is also dealing with allegations of officers roughing up wives, girlfriends, and even female strangers while off duty. Despite a 2005 BPD committee’s own findings on domestic abuse, which faulted both the department’s disciplinary and counseling efforts, recent stories in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald about officers involved with domestic-violence incidents show the toothless approach the department takes in policing its own. Davis admitted to the Phoenix that some cases result in wrist-slapping simply because pursuing severe discipline, or termination, is too difficult a legal process. As the details of these abuse cases emerge, the likelihood is that the public will get a look at how political connections have served to protect police who engage in questionable conduct, on and off duty... The deeply rooted problems that plague the BPD, of course, transcend the mayor’s office. Menino deserves credit for appointing Davis. Davis deserves recognition for wrestling in a serious way to right past wrongs and set the BPD on a proper course. The patrolman’s union, which inexplicably protects bad cops and stymies needed reform, must in some almost mystical way be convinced it is in the interests of its members to enjoy greater public confidence for the admittedly difficult and — at times — seemingly impossible jobs they have to do. The bad news to come is going to be sobering, but if dealt with in a forthright manner, it could offer an opportunity for a fresh start... [Full article here]

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