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Activists want federal investigation of Boston Police

WGBH reports on the request, which alleges that "Boston police officers have a pattern of using excessive force and a discriminatory policy of stopping and searching mainly young black and Latino men."

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and I'm not that good with the computers, so if anyone wants to combine the three UHub links with the NY Times census data for Boston and see where the logic for a BPD policy that may or may not be in effect and with the assumption that it is not 87 year old ladies from Barbados generally shooting up Erie Street in Dot, you can see why they may or may not be doing said discriminatory practices.

http://www.universalhub.com/crime/murder/2015

http://www.universalhub.com/crime/murder/2014

http://www.universalhub.com/crime/murder/2013

http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer

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Although many blacks like to say that "equal protection of the law" does in fact apply to law enforcement, they fail to understand two key points:

1) the equal protection clause is part of one of those bullshit Reconstruction amendments, which all good Americans know aren't really part of the Constitution.

2) "You're allowed to violate the Constitution if it might help the police." - the Founding Fathers (unanimously)

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..a 2014 ACLU report that raised concerns about the department’s policy on stops and searches, drawing on data compiled by a researcher hired by the Boston Police Department. It found that 63 percent of Boston police stops, searches, interrogations and other encounters were with black residents, even though blacks make up less than a quarter of the city’s population.

The reason police listed for 75 percent of those stops: “Investigate person” — which is not a constitutional reason for a stop.

One of the costs of police stops without reasonable suspicion is that citizens feel as though they're being stopped for how they look or where they live. It happening repeatedly feels like harassment... because it is. This creates a bad working relationship between the police and the community.

The Commissioner and Mayor said they've changed policing policies since this report was issued but they have provided no details, which would a more responsive approach to addressing concerns.

Our police officers show more restraint in use of lethal force, as compared to officers trained in the St Louis, and better skills deescalating armed confrontations without using lethal force. They should be commended.

What we haven't seen is police leadership engaging in discussion of about reforms to make policing work better.

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I think people are tired of a double standard and want accountability.

“A letter to the DOJ is obviously not going to solve all the problems of policing. But it’s a step in the right direction towards accountability.”

Community policing, as implemented in Roxbury, isn't delivering yet:

"..a recent meeting of roughly 100 residents in one of Boston’s predominantly black neighborhoods showed just how wide a chasm still exists in the city between the police and the people they patrol. At the meeting, people rose one by one to protest what they felt was an attitude of dismissiveness and even contempt from police officers. One woman was moved to tears speaking about her son, who had been killed by police. A man said he had been mistreated several times by police officers. Others complained about kids being frisked walking home from school or standing at a bus stop."

If residents (the ones who show up at community meetings) say they feel officers are dismissive of them or contemptuous, we have more training to do.

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I see that Jamahrl Crawford aka "uno the prophet" is involved in this. I don't expect any investigation need be done. His mind is already made up on how he views the BPD and police in general. Guilty of anything and everything.

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...if you didn't do anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about.

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i think freddie gray (who was carrying a legal knife at the time of his illegal arrest) might disagree with that.

see also: walter l. scott, tamir rice, almost any major news outlet over the past 3 months

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When were they in Boston?

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"When residents file complaints, Boston police don’t always investigate thoroughly, according to a community oversight panel appointed to evaluate Internal Affairs cases. Its most recent annual report found that about 41 percent of the Internal Affairs investigations last year were considered “other than fair and thorough..”

I don't know a lot of people who who spend the time to make a frivolous complaint.

Just over half who do file a complaint are satisfied with the resolution.

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That's 40 days from Easter Sunday, you should ready to Ascend to heaven, right?

Do you pound your head against the wall everyday because of the oppressive patriarchy which has set forth its goals to screw every person who isn't a white male?

Please start the revolution without me. I'll get the popcorn going and watch.

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Or are you just singing us a repetitive lullaby, bless your heart!

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The Boston Police could set two goals to improve the service they provide
1. reduce the number of resident complaints by 50%
2. increase the number of complaints handled satisfactory to 80%
Do you think this would take 2 or 3 years to accomplish?

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This Boston Magazine article from April 2014 digs into dissatisfaction with the dysfunctional BPD’s Internal Affairs Division.

IAD exists to investigate complaints about officers misconduct whether it's alleged they were being dickish or breaking the law. It's mission is to hold officers accountable for professional standards of conduct and compliance with the law. It is failing miserably. Read the whole thing, it's worth it.

This Globe article says Walsh and Evans want to fix CO-OP, a citizen review board.

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Brian Moore, Wenjian Liu or Rafael Ramos or.....

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And your point is?

Yeah. Officers get killed on the job. So do cab drivers and convenience store clerks.

I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at, by introducing this well-known fact into a discussion of whether or not any given police department needs looking into.

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and the tourettes like response to blame police needs looking into. Rampant gun violence with Boston Police responding to multiple firearm and shooting calls daily leads to a stress filled job wherein perceived overreaction is inevitable. There needs to be a refocus on community policing. A rebuilding of relationships and ownership of neighborhoods by the majority who are everyday good, hard working people.

Community policing has worked before however the proliferation of guns makes it a bigger challenge for residents to become vocal and lead. The risk of violence to them or loved ones is real and unlike that experienced by liberal keyboard warriors. What we have today is self proclaimed community activists interested in confrontation and blame with their hate filled anti police proclimations. They are in no danger from the gun toting criminals because they see them as victims and offer excuses for their violence.

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Aren't you the guy who referred to a law-abiding citizen, standing across the street from the action, filming a newsworthy event (an arrest in progress) as an "agitator?"

That makes it clear to me that you're coming at this with a pretty strong agenda.

Yeah, being a cop is dangerous. Not as dangerous as being a logger, a commercial fisherman, a pilot, a roofer, an iron worker... in fact, police work doesn't even make the top 10 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/22/americas-10-deadli...).

Of course, since we're talking about human interaction here rather than overall risk, let's just look at the stress related to workplace violence, not just workplace risk: the chance of being murdered on the job rather than the overall chance of dying on the job. Once again, the narrative of constant peril doesn't hold up: being a police officer is safer now than it has been at any time since 1959 (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131230/15411225716/number-officers-k...)

I feel privileged to live in Boston, which has, on the whole, a classy, well-trained, and highly professional police force, and, on the whole, good relationships between the police and the community relative to a lot of other places. But that does not, of course, mean that we can be complacent -- it's important to stay after training, discipline, and for the brass (Thank you, Commissioner Evans) to continue to show leadership.

We also, by the way, pay our police officers rather well: (http://www.bostonglobe.com/1969/12/08/city-boston-payroll-database/O8138...)

There is, nationwide, a major problem with the relationship between police and the communities they are sworn to serve. Yes, part of the problem is community dysfunction. But to deny that there is also a problem with police culture is to be willfully blind.

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There are lousy officers in need of training or a a new career choice. We have Rambo wannabe's. Thats not the majority of officers. Just like the majority of Boston residents aren't shooting one another. I agree with your other assertions with the exception of my characterization of the person recording police. In today's society we have people predisposed to react to any police situation by recording. We are told to record because we must expect a violation of someone's rights. We are not there to witness the performance of a dirty job necessary to maintain a civil society. This is America, you are free to aggravate the officers to enflame the situation. One persons freedom is another's agitation.

I would ask if the offended ever watched a kid bleed out after being shot. If those offended had to tell a mother her kid is dead. Shot. Workplace stress isn't singularly defined in the danger of dying on the job. A person may feel a bit stressed out after visiting these events over and over then showing up at a scene where a kid could have been shot by fellow officers and he's greeted with suspicion and mistrust. Stop the presses. Police officers are human.

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This is America, you are free to aggravate the officers to enflame the situation. One persons freedom is another's agitation.

Standing on the street corner, far from the action, filming goings-on is in no way agitation. We have no idea if the guy filming was "expecting a violation of rights," or whether he was doing it because, hey, there's a dramatic event going down and why not record it?

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We are told to record because we must expect a violation of someone's rights

Who tells you to record because you should expect a violation?

No. What we are told is that we should record because IF a violation of someone's rights happens, that videotape may be the only evidence that it occurred. The police will never own up to violating someone's rights if asked at a later date. They have zero prerogative to tell anyone they screwed up or that they saw another officer screw up (for fear another officer would do so to them). In cop vs. suspect, the cop's word will always win without other evidence.

And the damning thing is that it's not like the cop doesn't know how to do his job without violating someone's rights when he does it. Cops that wear body cameras have much better interactions with the public than ones who don't. That's because they know they can be reviewed and the suspect also knows they can't act up for fear of putting evidence on camera of resisting arrest, etc.

In fact, that "agitator" may have even been keeping that suspect calm by taping. If he knows that both the cops are being monitored (so he has less to fear) and that he's being monitored (so he can't run and later claim he feared for his life from a rogue cop and that he's already on tape as having been caught), then the entire situation is going to be better for everyone.

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to mention bicyclists in general are agitators as well.

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Based on your last couple of posts today, it's pretty clear you're just trolling and even have no interest in peddling your backwards take on reality any more. You're welcome to stop posting if you're only attempting to be an ass and dilute the conversation.

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mirror. See troll.

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...because yours is broken.

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is in your understanding of the word.

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I mean, most of us got what he was saying, except that one guy.

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I'll be the first to point out police in this country are out of control and go widely unpunished for criminal acts; but Boston is afar and away not one of the big problems. The BPD show a large amount of restraint and overall seem way more professional than a lot of police forces across the country and it'd be a waste of the FBI's time they could use to investigate: Baltimore, New York, [insert small town south-midwestern town here], etc....

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I'll be honest, yes I have been followed by the BPD (young minority driving a Camry in the city). Have I've been stopped for supsobley a taillight out a week after getting my car inspected, sure. Is it annoying yes. Am I concerned that i'm going to jail anytime soon...me never. Well jokes on them because I'm not doing anything criminal. Also yes our police departments are so much more lenient than cops in other states. You can go to jail for reckless driving in other states for driving too fast. I know so many people caught speeding 20+ over the speed limit. Cops wont even pull you over until you are doing 10+ over the speed limit.

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If like me, you like to read Universalhub, you may have seen a couple of patterns:

- A ton of dumbass blacks and Latinos driving pimped out cars with windows tinted more than the law allows, driving like idiots passing red lights, speeding and making illegal turns, while their license is suspended, their car is full of drugs and they have a gun or two! AKA: Cop Magnets!

- Many reports of police taking out kids with guns with minimum use of deadly force. Most of these when they stopped a dumbass black or Latino driving pimped out cars with windows tinted more than the law allows, driving like idiots passing red lights, speeding and making illegal turns, while their license is suspended, their car is full of drugs and they have a gun or two!

Before you jump at me for racial profiling, I AM LATINO!

I'm proud to live in a city where the good men and women of the BPD keep me safe from these dumbasses. Thanks BRD

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Could the DoJ coming in and looking at what the BPD is doing be a bad thing? I don't think we will be facing a worst case scenario- we may have been akin to Baltimore or even New York at one point, but we are not there anymore. Heck, in the 1970s there was a squad that busted up a bar in Southie just because rocks were thrown at them earlier in the day. The realistic bad scenario would be recommendations as to how our police department could do things better, with a golden scenario (not say it will happen, but theoretically) the feds could come away saying we are the model.

A big issue for the BPD is outside oversight. This is outsiders looking at the department.

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Well, yes it can be a bad thing. Not because they would find a picture perfect department in every way. It is just that the DOJ can only handle a fraction of these kind of inquiries that are requested [see original article Adam linked]. And there are places a helluva lot worse than Boston that need the inquiry more, and need it sooner than later.

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I was going to add something like "if money is no object." I guess we'll go on the list, but that list seems to be getting longer, and we would probably just keep going lower on the list.

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And I'm a young
woman, a white middle-class homeowner who generally only deals with police when I call them myself (theft/vandalism, and a complicated tenant situation), and I have found bpd incompetent at best, abusive at worst. Dispatch barely communicates with responders, responders scream in your face and interrupt you when you're trying to answer their own questions...

More accountability, yes please. The cops who don't like being answerable to the public can and should quit immediately.

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I'm curious. Why do you need the police to mediate a "complicated tenant situation?" Shouldn't you be going to the courts? Housing Court?

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If you'd asked Martin O'Malley how great Baltimore PD was doing when he was mayor, I'm sure it was only getting better every day. However, reality tells a different story and if you'd asked anyone who lived in some of the worst parts of West Baltimore (but weren't criminals) they would have told you O'Malley is full of crap.

Sure, we see lots of rosy pictures of Boston PD doing more with a less violent approach when we read the news on those specific incidents. However, that doesn't mean that a young black man living in Upham's Corner who isn't a criminal isn't getting harassed because he "looks like he's up to something" when he's just hanging out with friends or driving down the street. Over a 3 year period from 2007-2010, Boston PD made 200,000 stops that led to zero arrests. Over 75% of their stops are labeled plainly "investigate person".

Great, we're seeing more stories from Boston where police aren't unnecessarily gunning people down in the street when given a harrowing situation. But that doesn't absolve them from lots of unnecessary racially biased harassment nor does it speak to whether they do that or not so it's immaterial to the complaint.

Not everything has to be Baltimore or Ferguson to be a real problem. Nor should we have to wait until we're the "worst around" before flagging something for concern.

Furthermore, if we get attention paid when are problems are at a simmer it will be far less expensive to enact powerful solutions that make us far better in the long run than if we wait until it's a full boil.

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I agree Kaz. We have real issues in policing policy that should be addressed with policy reforms. Thanks for using numbers that BPD agrees are a factual representation of the situation to make that case.

We also have a conflict of interest in investigating wrongful death by the police. You know their names.

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Race baiters only care when it's the police that shoot black men. They are silent about the daily black on black shootings in this and every other city. Statistically the police shootings are insignificant.

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You think people only care about this because the victims of police abuse are usually black? So, they should care about all the other things that kill black people more?

How about YOU should care about police abuse because they're doing it in your name! In order to "keep you safe" they are willing to abuse others. If you can't care about that, then you should probably fuck off to somewhere where there's nobody around to harm.

I'd rather deal with something that should be easy to solve and is within my control because they are MY agents of law and order tasked to uphold a higher standard of behavior than your hypothetical "nobody cares about black on black" murderer. If you can't see why this is a lower hanging fruit on the tree and we should pluck it first before it ripens into a dead kid in Roxbury, then you seriously need to grow up.

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Statistically the police shootings are insignificant.

How do you get from "20% of the people killed at the hands of other people were by police" to "statistically insignificant?"

http://www.seattletimes.com/news/seattle-homicides-2013-29-total-6-at-ha...

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Using one year, and a single data point, and at that in a fairly nonviolent city (I mean, I love Tacoma, but even I will concede it is more dangerous than Seattle) is not the best way to show trends nationwide.

Here are some stats. In 2011, there were an estimated 607 fatal shootings by law enforcement (see the article to read about the annoyance of getting the figures) versus 14,661 homicides nationwide overall. That puts the percentage at about 4%, and remember that each shooting by the police has circumstances behind them, from the victim shooting at the police to suicide by cop to, well, a guy going down the stairs of his apartment building and running into the police chasing a suspect.

Takeaway, the police should do a better job and be held to a high standard, but if you think it is 20%, then the actual number might seem insignificant.

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Riddle me this Batman
If the Activists are unhappy with the Boston Police does that mean they are happy with their treatment by MSP,TRANSIT,FBI and the hundred other police departments that patrol the city?

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killing each other. These activists are incapable of confronting the violence and only provide index fingers to point blame everywhere but where it belongs.

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Ever sit back and wonder if you're really not as bright as you think you are?

Your argument makes no sense. First, there has been plenty of evidence posted before that these same community groups are attempting to stop community violence. Secondly, just because there is community violence doesn't mean there isn't police abuse nor that we shouldn't tackle it at the same time or even first. Finally, maybe if the community didn't feel like the police were always on top of them, they'd be able to put more effort into all of the other things you raise as red herrings to this discussion.

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The "evidence posted" hasn't prevented violence. What is the right way in responding to 911 calls involving shootings and murders of children? You have the answer. Please do explain. I see a police department willing to work with true community leaders and I see self proclaimed community leaders offering nothing but blame.

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If the researchers working to find a cure for ALS think ALS is such a big deal, does that mean that they're OK with all other diseases? You want to go tell them to quit wasting their time and focus on heart disease and cancer instead?

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Baltimore - Boston, similar sized cities, apples and oranges. Baltimore has had a heinous violent crime problem since the 70s, nothing new. It's murder rate peaked at around 500 a year vs Boston's peak of around 175. Ditto D.C., also very similar size city vs Boston. Baltimore has never really recovered from the 60s-70s riots. Rhere are large sections of the city with whole streets of boarded up, abandoned housing, businesses, etc. It still has a VERY bad violent crime problem. Boston by comparison is a vibrant and booming city compared to Baltimore. It's sad.

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One thing that's been reinforced over the last year of racial incidents is that not everything activists say is necessarily true, nor is it backed by any data. Any survey activists cite is usually from biased groups that decided on a conclusion to draw before they did any research. As always, WGBH, in its well-meaning, naive limosine liberal form, gives a platform to these types.

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on Brattle street with their GBH allies.

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IMAGE(http://media.tumblr.com/71607a2581b7b0fd829d1ff9e3db1c42/tumblr_inline_n12h0c6vYv1swf4at.gif)

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I'll hear you slapping the keyboard in my dreams.

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Or shut up.

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it.

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He made an assertion that all surveys showing a racial discrepancy in how police handle incidents or in creating incidents. I don't have to disprove every crackpot bullshit thing someone states. You could claim that the Boston Police Department never stops black people unless it's to make an arrest because BPD is a bunch of unerring cyborgs. I can claim you need to prove that statement or stop inserting it in the conversation without any evidence. That makes sense, you made a claim that you intend to rely on to support your argument that BPD never makes mistakes and I want to see proof. Telling me to disprove it makes no sense, I have no stake in it being true in the first place. It's disproven because it's never been shown to be true at all.

QED You're a troll.

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I know you guys love to deride the Boston Herald comments section, but truthfully this is making the BH comments sections look good in comparison.

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I know you are.

But what am I?

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Have you all forgotten that the ACLU basically made up an interpretation of this data that went completely against the findings of the people who did the study?

The study also found that the biggest predictors for whether a person of any race would be stopped repeatedly were gang affiliation and criminal history, and the biggest predictor for how frequently police conducted FIOs in different neighborhoods was its crime rate.

However, after controlling for issues like criminal history, blacks were 8.8 percent more likely than whites to be stopped repeatedly by police, and 12 percent more likely than whites to be frisked or searched during a stop.

The study also found that black neighborhoods saw more FIOs than white neighborhoods, even after researchers controlled for crime rate, with each 1 percent increase in black residents bringing with it a 2.2 percent hike in FIOs.

“What is the conclusion?” said Anthony Braga, a professor at Harvard University and Rutgers University, who is one of the study’s two lead authors. “One is that, when we analyze the FIO activity of the Boston Police Department, we do find patterns that suggest racial disparities in the way it is being executed in neighborhoods. That said, we also see that the Boston Police Department is using FIOs in ways that you would expect given their crime control mission.”

In its analysis, the ACLU stated that of all the FIOs recorded, none led to arrest, and only 2.5 percent led to seizure of contraband.

But Braga said that interpretation is wrong. FIOs, he said, aren’t necessarily intended to lead to arrest, and the majority do not involve searches. When an FIO does turn up contraband or an arrestable offense, it is no longer considered an FIO.

Instead, a police report is filled out in those situations.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/08/aclu-charges-boston-police-e...

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I don't want to offend anyone with my comment. I hope officer Moynihan makes a speedy recovery and is back on the job as soon as possible but the way he approached that vehicle in the video released by the BPD defies all police training and procedure. The first officer that approaches the car on the right passenger side immediately opens the door to the car without approaching the driver and speaking to him. Then officer Moynihan approaches the other side and opens the door and the events that led to his injuries unfolded. BPD officers are brave as they risk their lives everyday policing the streets but seeing the overly aggressive approach of those officers in that video coupled with their famous "fear for my safety excuse" for pulling someone over is a bit archaic now.

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