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News ::
100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
09 Aug 2004
Modified: 05:22:33 AM
police state tactics in poor areas of boston
I hate to post globe articles, but I've seen nothing in the alternative media about this yet.

In reponse to the high rate of murders this year, Boston cops have started arresting tons of "impact players." This sounds like a bullshit way to avoid real solutions, instead opting for arresting a ton of people in roxbury, dorchester, and mattapan. And I think that, had this happened to the activist community, there'd be a shitload more about it in the alternative media. But, I guess it's time to get the word out (at least) instead of start fights...

"Fox pointed out that the additional police presence should make gang members think twice about committing crimes, because ''they're going to see some competition in blue.""
i wonder if they copy edited this...

Here are two articles, one from the front page of sunday's globe that may describe what happened this weekend, and a second about chuck turner criticising these actions:

27 arrested in violence crackdown
Police hail multiagency squad's results

By Suzanne Smalley, Globe Staff and Jack Encarnacao, Globe Correspondent | August 8, 2004

A multiagency squad of law-enforcement officials rounded up more than two dozen people, including what they called ''impact players," in the first night of a coordinated effort to stem a dramatic increase in violence in the city, police said yesterday.

Officials arrested 27 people in the first night of the crackdown, using a unified command structure including Boston police; State Police; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the US Drug Enforcement Administration; and Boston Housing Authority police.

Arrests by the special operations team, which was on the streets again last night, were for offenses ranging from trespassing to firearms possession.

Superintendent Paul Joyce, who runs the department's investigative services division, called several of those arrested ''individuals who are very well known to law enforcement" and have extensive criminal histories. He also said they ''are involved in this cycle of criminal activities we have seen."

''We're going to keep it up until we lower the violence," Joyce said at a press conference last evening. ''Many of those arrests occurred in and around playgrounds and parks last night."

Overall, police arrested 114 people citywide Friday night and early yesterday, said police spokeswoman Nadine Taylor-Miller.

At a press conference late yesterday, after a day of repeat requests for statistics showing an average number of arrests for a typical summer weekend night, Joyce said, ''I don't have those figures." He said that, not counting the 27 arrests made under ''Operation Neighborhood Shield," it was about an average night in terms of arrests for a summer weekend.

''Several impact players were arrested in the hot spots that were identified by the operational plan," Boston police spokesman Michael McCarthy said.

Officers ''were out in full force identifying and arresting impact players, as well as other drug offenders and firearms violators," he said. ''A lot of it was through traffic enforcement, which you'll see more of in the coming weeks."

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the new broader strategy seems to be working. ''Operation Neighborhood Shield was a success in so many different ways," Menino said yesterday. ''It takes every part of our community to make this work. It can't just be law enforcement. . . . I saw a community really coming together, and that's what gave me some satisfaction."

Menino said he plans to ask nonprofit organizations throughout the city to keep youth programs running until Labor Day this year, because ''we can't have these kids on the streets for two weeks doing nothing."

James Alan Fox, professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University, agreed that the increased patrols don't address the causes of the violence.

''Summertime tends to see more violence, because kids are more idle," Fox said. ''Part of the reason kids are more idle is because we've cut back on jobs and programs. . . . It's a short-term response for a problem that ultimately needs long-term solutions."

Fox pointed out that the additional police presence should make gang members think twice about committing crimes, because ''they're going to see some competition in blue."

The summer's violence has been so pervasive that Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley drafted a letter to be read to parishioners across the city at services over the weekend.

''For some time, but especially in recent days and weeks, violence in our city has taken a terribly devastating toll in loss of life and injury, especially among our children and young people," the head of the city's Catholic archdiocese wrote.

''I would ask the faithful and clergy of each parish to consider what we as mothers and fathers, extended family, and neighbors might do in cooperation with other communities of faith, social service agencies, institutions and community programs, the mayor, and public safety officials to work together more efficiently and productively to ensure peace and safety," the statement said

Even as law enforcement officers patrolled the city's streets, another shooting took place, this time in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester.

In a case that authorities are calling a death investigation and not a homicide, Norman Nord Jr., 28, was arrested at the scene and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

If the shooting is ultimately ruled a homicide, it would be the 43d so far this year in Boston. There were only 41 homicides recorded in Boston all of last year.

Nord, who appeared to be upset, led the apartment building's owner to the body of a woman lying sprawled face-up on the floor of a second-level bedroom sometime between 3:30 and 4 a.m. yesterday, according to the building owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

''He walked in, and he looked aggravated," the building owner said. ''He said, 'You might want to take a look at something.' I was thinking broken pipe or something."

McCarthy, the police spokesman, said the victim, whom police did not identify, knew Nord, but McCarthy could not specify their relationship.

Elsewhere, Operation Neighborhood Shield officers were carrying out a series of strikes in the Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and South End neighborhoods, targeting known criminals for arrest after a rash of fatal shootings.

In addition to making 27 arrests, police on the special operation team recovered three firearms and one knife and issued more than 100 moving violations.

Joyce said police made a stabbing and drug arrest yesterday in Downtown Boston, seven drug arrests in Roxbury, a total of eight gun and drug arrests in Dorchester and Mattapan, and two drug arrests in the South End.

Joining the enforcement effort were the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police and local prosecutors.

The idea for the collaborative operation grew out of the cooperative spirit of the Democratic National Convention, according to State Police Colonel Thomas Robbins, who said he provided half of his department, or 1,000 officers, to the convention-week policing effort.

After the convention ended, he and Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O'Toole spoke almost daily, Robbins said, to rehash the event's success and exchange thanks for a job well done.

Then, as the convention began to fade away, Boston was rocked by violence, including last Sunday's shooting of an 11-year-old boy signing up for a football team at Carter Playground in Roxbury. Robbins received yet another phone call from O'Toole, but the tone had moved from relief and gratitude to desperation.

''She said she would like to talk with me about getting assistance in the city," Robbins said. '' 'What can we do? ' ' You're aware the homicide rate has gone up. I want to put a lot of officers on the street. Can you give me some assistance?' "

A double shooting and double stabbing in the city Thursday night sparked another phone call from police headquarters. Robbins was told to get to Boston for a meeting with representatives from a group of city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. By noon Friday, about 30 officials were gathered around a conference room table listening to O'Toole's pleas for help and pledging help for the effort.

MBTA officers provided assistance in the form of incident command vehicles stationed at hot spots like Ramsay Park and a housing development at 1850 Washington St., according to Thomas McCarthy, deputy chief of investigative services for the MBTA police.

Robbins provided manpower from the State Police motorcycle unit, gang unit, community action team, and violent fugitive apprehension squad, as well as investigators who work out of the Suffolk district attorney's office, he said.

''During the 10 years I worked in Massachusetts law enforcement, from '88 to '98, the State Police never worked this closely with Boston in these numbers," said state Public Safety Secretary Edward A. Flynn.

Councilor warns against 'police state' amid crack down in Boston

By Associated Press, 8/8/2004 22:54

BOSTON (AP) A city councilor on Sunday warned against turning Boston into a ''police state'', even as law enforcement officials touted the success of a new program that has beefed up police presence on the streets in response to a recent spate of violence.

Fourteen people were arrested Saturday night and Sunday morning as part of Operation Neighborhood Shield, which relies on the help of state police, FBI and other federal agencies for increased patrols across the city. Two guns and 500 rounds of ammunition were also confiscated, police said.

The program has resulted in 41 arrests since Friday night.

Two city councilors and some religious leaders, meanwhile, said an increased police presence is not the only solution. They called on residents to find new ways to end violence, which has included the brazen daylight shooting death of a youth basketball coach during a game and the wounding of an 11-year-old boy trying out for a Pop Warner football team.

''We're not looking for an imposition of a police state but for police to work cooperatively with neighbors,'' said City Councilor Charles Yancey. ''Whatever strategy we come up with, it has to be a collective strategy based upon imperatives and directions from the community.''

Funding cuts for youth programs have left the city's young with little to do, said Councilor Chuck Turner.

''When you cut back the resources needed for youth services and summer jobs and programs to productively employ the energy of our youth then the reality is that you are warring on our youth,'' he said.

Yancey and Turner said they would meet with Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole to discuss ways to improve community policing. They also called on adults to ''adopt'' a park or transit station to act as an extra set of eyes for police.

In the city's Dorchester section, parishioners at Greater Love Tabernacle called on business leaders to donate money or hire young people to let them know there are other options in life than violence.

Twenty-six people under the age of 24 have been killed in Boston this year, nearly double the number at this time last year, according to city and MBTA police. Much of the violence has happened at city parks.

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Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
09 Aug 2004
oops, sorry about the title mix up. then again, maybe it got your attention! It should say "27+"
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
09 Aug 2004
AND, lest we forget, a lot of those DHS-bought domed surveillance cams the city bought during its DNC buildup are apparently going to be relocated to working-class POC residential areas.
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
09 Aug 2004
The second article includes comments by Councilor Turner, but note that it's actually Councilor Yancey who warned of a "police state." Chuck isn't the only one doing good work on the Council. And Councilor Yancey is only there after beating back a strong challenge rom a candidate backed by the City's establishment last Fall.
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
09 Aug 2004
yeah, i noticed that after posting. major props to Councilor Yancey.
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
10 Aug 2004
Part of the problem (and I'm sure Turner's aware of it, from having heard him speak) is that there's federal money available for heavy-handed policing, but none for constructive measures like creating jobs. This does tie the hands of the city government. Not that it's an excuse--the mayor should be trying to form an alliance with other big city mayors to push for a change in federal spending priorities. But that idea is probably totally alien to him--so he's just using the tools he has at hand, rather than trying to push for wider social change.
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
10 Aug 2004
Where do you live ????
Re: 100+ bostonians arrested in "crime crackdown"
10 Aug 2004

and its also interesting to note that there was a proposal to close down parks earlier and only let people in the parks if they are accompanied by a child. meaning, the only adults allowed in parks would be parents and babysitters.