Rethinking cop cameras?

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and his police commissioner may be cool to the idea of outfitting police with cameras, but video from the scene of a police traffic stop gone bad in Roxbury may make them rethink their position.

The situation Friday night had all the ingredients for another divisive debate about the police use of deadly force against black men. Boston police officers were pulling over cars on Humboldt Avenue. Gunfire erupts, leaving a white officer badly injured and a black man dead. The incident could have quickly escalated into a racial firestorm, but surveillance video from the scene dampened tensions considerably by letting black leaders see for themselves what happened.

After the shooting, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans contacted black community leaders and showed them the video, which has not been released to the public. Many of the black leaders said the video exonerated the police officers and praised police for sharing it with them.

“For the first time since I’ve been an activist in the city, there’s at least an openness to letting us see the video. To responding to our questions around what happened. That’s progress,” Michael Curry, president of the Boston NAACP, told the Boston Herald. 

Rep. Russell Holmes of Boston told the Herald he hopes police establish a protocol in releasing videos after police shootings, and called for police body cameras. “One of the things that is clear is that cameras work,” Holmes said.

Curry, after a community meeting Monday night at which two of the dead man’s relatives were in attendance, also said police should carry cameras. The sister and sister-in-law of Angelo West asked Curry to describe what he saw on the video. Curry said the video shows a shooter firing at a police officer, identified as John Moynihan, at point-blank range and then standing over him after he goes down. Then other police start firing at the shooter, who takes off running and returning fire. The chase then continues off camera, where apparently the shooter was gunned down.

Two other videos from the scene apparently show how police and bystanders interacted in the wake of the shooting. Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson reports one video shows bystanders shouting, taunting, and heckling the police. A second video, Williamson says, shows Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross, who is black, walking over to the bystanders to explain what happened. “In response, the protesters swear at him, hurl racial epithets, call him a pig, and declare ‘war’ on law enforcement. Through it all, Gross’ composure was remarkable.”

Both the Globe and the Herald ran editorials praising police handling of the incident, particularly Evans’s decision to show the video to black community leaders. No word yet on whether Walsh and Evans are now rethinking their position on cop body cameras.




Attorney General Maura Healey shuts down the Route 9 Diner in Hadley after filing sexual harassment claims against the owners, NECN reports.

State film tax credits — Gov. Charlie Baker wants to end ours — are starting to rack up bad reviews across the country.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is launching a committee to study ways to close the wage gap between men and women, State House News reports.

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The Salem News, in an editorial, condemns “political correctness run amok” in Lexington.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse tries to avoid municipal layoffs.


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US Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she is “really concerned” about how organizers are going to pay for the Olympics, WBUR reports.


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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill that would have shielded the names of police officers involved in serious or fatal shootings.


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An interesting partnership between Partners HealthCare and an online New Hampshire university programs is giving Partners’ employees an opportunity to earn college degrees at no cost.

Student loan recipients are striking, refusing to pay their debts, the Associated Press reports.

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Commuter rail service from Salem to Rockport and Newburyport will be shut down for about three weeks in 2017 as the rail bridge between Beverly and Salem gets a $23 million overhaul, the Gloucester Times reports.


Chatham officials go to Washington to talk to the Bay State congressional delegation about a US Fish and Wildlife management plan that gives the feds control over waters off of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.


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A Middleboro woman was charged with trying to set fire to a historic church in Plymouth Sunday night.


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