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.

–BRUCE MOHL

 

BEACON HILL

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.

Apparently, Senate President Stan Rosenberg isn’t being transparent enough for The MetroWest Daily News.

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Fall River Mayor Sam Sutter has appointed a task force to reconsider the controversial pay-as-you-throw trash program started by his predecessor even as Sutter announced the city will begin fining residents for non-compliance.

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

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse tries to avoid municipal layoffs.

MARATHON BOMBING TRIAL

The government rests its case after calling its final witness: The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on 8-year-old Martin Richard, whose testimony had several jurors in tears.

OLYMPICS

Joan Vennochi tells us John Fish has “thin skin, a tin ear, and a habit of blurting out what he really thinks about people who don’t share his vision,” before proceeding to tell us what she really thinks about the Boston 2024 chairman. She also dishes that Olympic backers would like to find someone else to helm their efforts.

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

CASINOS

A zoning proposal by the developers of a planned casino at the site of the Brockton Fairgrounds gives a preliminary look at the 250,000-square foot facility, which would include a 250-room hotel.

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

At the politically star-studded opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, the late senator is remembered by nearly everyone as someone willing to reach out to others whether they agreed with him or not, CommonWealth reports. The Dorchester Reporter has this account of what unfolded there yesterday.

The governor of Connecticut has signed an executive order banning state travel to Indiana or any other state that passes legislation aimed at discriminating against gays, the first such state to take action as part of the fallout from Indiana’s controversial religious rights law.

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

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Supporters for increasing the minimum wage around the country are broadening their tactics in advance of the next planned work action set for April 15.

An April 7 summit in Boston on women in the venture capital business is likely to draw added attention in the wake of last week’s California court ruling against Ellen Pao in her sex discrimination suit against VC powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Globe business columnist Steven Syre tells the VC community, “Take advantage of this moment.”

EDUCATION

Students at Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover are told to come to school with all their books and other belongings in clear plastic bags after a bomb scare shut the school down on Monday, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

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.

Allen Questrom, a retail turnaround expert, and his wife Kelli have donated $40 million to the business school at his alma mater, Boston University, which will rename the graduate school after Questrom.

When less is more: Real estate brokers in the Boston area are setting lower asking prices for properties to induce bidding wars that end up generating sales at higher prices.

HEALTH CARE

Researchers say millions of women suffer from endometriosis but the debilitating disease is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by physicians in teenage girls, leading to lifelong health problems.

TRANSPORTATION

The MBTA’s interim general manager says an investigation of the system’s calamity-filled winter has revealed “eye-opening” discoveries, including the agency’s failure to use an anti-icing fluid on the third rail carrying power that is standard practice in many US transit systems.

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.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

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.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz denies there is a “culture of racism” in his office after the release of a series of racially tinged emails were released in a court case.

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee testified the accused murderer gave her a box to dispose but she never looked inside before discarding it in a “random” dumpster. Prosecutors contend the box held the gun used to kill Odin Lloyd.

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

MEDIA

Sources tell Reuters that Cablevision Systems Corp. is planning to offer $1 for the debt-plagued New York Daily News.

Dozens of billboards will temporarily replace the landmark billboard of Stop Handgun Violence along the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Globe reports. A feature on John Rosenthal, the founder of Stop Handgun Violence, graced the winter 2013 cover ofCommonWealth.