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Boston police union goes to court to try to stop body-camera pilot

The Herald reports the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association is aghast at the way the city ordered 100 officers to test out the cameras when the union and the city negotiated such a nice agreement calling for officers who volunteered to wear the cameras to participate.

You may recall, of course, that Police Commissioner William Evans issued his order when no officers volunteered.

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Comments

If the BPPA is so dedicated to this agreement, then they need to encourage their membership to...volunteer. I don't believe it was sheer happenstance that not a single officer decided to volunteer.

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The BPPA is all about having it both ways.

They got a handful of "gimme" and a mouthful of "we do no wrong."

They are the chief reason that cops own this town, hook, line and wallet.

The pendulum has swung so far that it broke...and landed on BPPA's side.

Expect nothing to change on this score. Such a poison union.

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♬ If you have nothing to hide,
Why are you so worried? ♬

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BPPA bosses think Boston's rank and file policemen are a bunch of thugs and criminals who have to hide their behavior. Good thing we citizens know better, and understand this step is part of our city's finest maintaining their place at the forefront of modern, urban community policing.

It's just too bad they have to suffer the insult of their terrible, backwards union bosses.

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So you're cool with the police searching your house any time they see fit? I mean, if you have nothing to hide...

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Another one with a busted irony meter.

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I'm aghast at the typos in your story and the snark you write with when you make a living from listening to the radio transmissions of people who are actually out there doing what you only have the guts to report on from the safety of your living room.

If you believe in this city so much you'd be out there protecting it.

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Thanks for posting Boston Police Officer.

You must be new here. Welcome to Universal Hub. No, I'm not AdamG, but a regular here.

Adam believes so much in this city that he decided to have a website reporting on stuff you won't see in the Globe or the Herald. I get so much more in depth stuff here.. stuff you don't see anywhere else. And I'm grateful for that, as are many people who come here on a daily basis to read his stories. Stories with a local twist.

PS - What spelling errors? I just ran the whole article thru Microsoft Word and it didn't detect any.

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Could you please point me to the snark I've used in reporting crime stories? Specifically, snark about the police (as opposed to dumb criminals)? I'll even make it easy for you: Here are the last few hundred crime posts I've put up, all the way back to 2014. (when you click one of the next links at the bottom, ignore the map at the top).

Typos? In this story? This two-sentence story that links to actual reporting by the Herald? You sure? CVS sells these special wipes for clearing eyeglasses. They're not that expensive.

And please, it's the summertime, I report from the porch.

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You need to get a grip on reality and get out of your left wing bubble

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What reality are you reporting in from?

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I spotted it on my first read-through as well...

"the way the city ordered 100 officers to test out the cameras when the and the city negotiated such..."

But I still managed to understand what you meant...

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Stupid mistake. And that's why real media outlets have copy editors. Also pride, fall, etc.

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All cops are like Andy Griffith then you shouldn't have a problem with them wearing cameras to prove they're not Tooty, Muldoon or worse.

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That publishes a racist newsletter?

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Unfortunately nothing has changed since the revelation [to the general public] of the content of said newsletter.

https://cleanupbppa.wordpress.com/

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... and it's still full of racist, sexist screeds and unsourced accusations against Muslims, blacks, pols who want to have police answerability, and all of the BPPA fantasy hobgoblins. They've learned nothing.

https://www.bppa.org/Pax/

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Contribute artifacts and documents of Labor Relations, Collective Bargaining, Unions' history relevant to Boston Cambridge Brookline areas for a future online digital Exhibition on Labor Local History at Boston Public Library.

Beginning with The Real Sheet, pun intended, newsletter of the B.P.L.P.S.A. Boston Public Library Professional Staff Association
http://bplpsa.info

B.P.P.A. Boston Police Patrolmen's Association
https://bppa.org

New England Regional Council of Carpenters
http://nercc.org/

Boston's Labor Movement
An oral history of work and union organizing
https://archive.org/stream/bostonslabormove00robo

Thought Experiment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment Why no Labor Party here like in the UK ?
https://books.google.com/books?id=q2qznJMVGGcC&printsec=frontcover

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Maybe the mayor and police commissioner should lead by example and wear a camera and voice recorder everyday. Then put a link to the recordings on the city website. Why command your staff to do something you are not willing to do yourself?

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We don't expect they mayor to go out and arrest people, either. So cops should stop doing that, too?

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I don't buy the "if you don't have anything to hide then why worry" line of argument when it comes to intrusive monitoring. However I don't consider police body-cams to be intrusive precisely because we as a society have decided to empower the police with a number of powers that few, if any others, get. First, for many years, the general default has been to respect police officers for putting their lives on the line and being selfless public servants. This is not based on any proof that the individual has done anything worthy of this respect -- you respect the uniform, regardless of whether it's on a rookie or a veteran. (Obviously this respect has waxed and waned since the 60s, but generally it's the case and if it's failing recently that's because of the behavior of an alarmingly high number of officers).

Secondly, at least for me, I support the outrageously kick-ass benefits that cops get because having to deal everyday with people at their worst is pretty crappy. So if the union can get a good deal for its members, so be it. Provided they do their job properly.

Lastly and most importantly, law enforcement officers are authorized to have the power to take away any and all of our civil rights at the drop of a hat. When and if that power gets abused some seriously nasty shit happens. The prevalence of video-taping technologies has opened a window onto just how much nasty shit has been happening. Surely the black and Latino communities have known about this, but now there's all this proof for the rest of us. I'm still unclear as to whether it's always been this bad or if it's just getting worse as whites become just another a minority (at the same time that police are being given increasingly militarized training and equipment) while cell phone videos (and their distribution) have become so widespread. Probably some combo I'd guess.

So yeah, you get paid shit-gobs, can retire early, have the right to take-away people's rights and behave like bullies, at the same time that we're supposed to kiss your asses. Damn right I want you taped.

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You should really ask yourselves if this lawsuit is in your interest or the interest of the lawyers that your union leaders have given your hard-earned union dues to. Do you think they really have a case or are they just lining the pockets of the lawyers who get paid whether the union wins this obvious mockery of the judicial system or not?

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The patrolman's union has every legal right, and in fact obligation, to question the use of these cameras on their members. It's an issue to be decided in the collective bargaining process, which is obviously a long, drawn-out process because every i must be dotted, and every t crossed. Upper management in corporations and institutions like police departments have complex, negotiated employment contracts for good reason. They would never tolerate being told they must do something that wasn't a negotiated part of their contract, so why should, in this case, the patrolmen and patrolwomen? Most American workers have no legally binding employment contract, that is they're 'Employee at Will', which means you can be forced by your employer to do almost anything (legal, of course) and can be fired 'at will', even arbitrarily. Most Americans have almost zero legal rights regarding their employment, and I'll bet most are oblivious to things like labor laws, their status as 'Employee at Will', etc. Police patrolmen and patrolwomen do have collective bargaining through their union.

Those saying 'If you have nothing to hide..' I assume know who originally said that quote? Paul Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. Ultimately, he apparently had a lot to hide, because he and his wife murdered their children and then committed suicide.

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Those saying 'If you have nothing to hide..' I assume know who originally said that quote? Paul Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany.

Nope. The quote is widely attributed to Goebbels - because Godwin - but was in use decades prior. Upton Sinclair used an inverted version in 1918 in The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation:

Not merely was my own mail opened, but the mail of all my relatives and friends—people residing in places as far apart as California and Florida. I recall the bland smile of a government official to whom I complained about this matter: ‘If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.’

The curious can read the whole essay here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1558/1558-h/1558-h.htm

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Those saying 'If you have nothing to hide..' I assume know who originally said that quote?

If you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny, but FYI, "If you have nothing to hide" is widely used by apologists as a justification for bad policing practices. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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In totally unrelated news, there was a lot of violence in the city last night and people died.

But no one cares about that stuff to even comment.

Oh except the police.

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Any change in working conditions for our brave police must be negotiated through collective bargaining, not by managerial fiat from the likes of Marty Walsh and Mousey Evans. Please. The cameras might be a good thing in the end, if they come with a pay raise and the added court time for increased arrests. The next drunk City Councilor, state legislator etc. stopped after "two beers" can no longer be driven home and must be arrested if it's on tape. Bad night in Boston but Obama//Hillary/Emmanuel's Chicago is far worse this weekend. Keep voting Democrat!

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How has Reagan's war on drugs, busting up unions and getting into bed with the religious right helped this country? How's has Bush's war helped this country and the safety of the ppl in it? How has the militarizing of the police helped communities? Go ahead and vote for Trump - let's see how that goes. Hilary might not be perfect but I'll take her over Trump and the rest of the Republican candidates in a heartbeat.

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I say we should make all cops wear the body cameras as long as all of Boston's city councilors and other politicians, especially those calling for the cops to wear them, agree to wear them as well. At the very least, we should make the politicians punch a time clock and release copies of the time cards to the news media.

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The City comes out and asks for 100 volunteers. The BPPA tells membership to hold back until they can get something in return. The membership holds back. The city imposes cameras on 100 "volunteers". The BPPA grieves the imposition. The city sees it will lose the grievance/arbitration, and gives the BPPA something else it wants to drop the grievance. The BPPA drops the grievance. Everyone gets something they want.

Labor 101.

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I keep seeing references to this but am unable to find any links to the actual email/letters telling the union members not to volunteer. Can you point me in the right direction?

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Can you imagine how awful it would be to go to work knowing you will be held accountable for your actions? The poor cops. Most of us works jobs with no oversight. Like can you imagine going to a store and the sales associates mangers are around? Or going into your office and seeing your boss there too? Or going to Dunkins and seeing signs sayings that there is audio recording? How can the employees screw around!? It's so unfair!

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Can you imagine how awful it would be to go to work knowing you will be held accountable for your actions?

Have you been living under a rock lately? Turn on the news.. its almost daily where we see police using excess force, or even worse.. shooting innocent people. Wouldn't YOU feel better knowing there was a camera watching when you got pulled over by a cop? I would. Not that I have anything to hide, but most of these cops are on a power trip and use their position for that purpose. This way, cameras humble them out some.

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It was meant to be sarcasm.

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uh... I think she was flinging some sarcasm.

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As the late, great Paul Harvey said in Policeman, less than one half of one percent of police misfit the badge, a better record than the clergy. Of course the media would never cry out for clergy cams after intentionally lying and calling the priest scandal "pedophilia" even though it was mainly adult gay men preying on post-pubescent males, not children or pedophilia.

Bring on the police bodycams but negotiate it, with the appropriate raise, as required by the collective bargaining agreement. As a former patrolman himself, Evans should be sued for violation of the contract for forcing anyone to take on additional equipment and training than was required before. A deal is a deal.

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Because the clergy are not sanctioned by the government with the exclusive authority to enforce the law. If as you put it police officers cannot be required to take on equipment and training that was not required when their contract was signed, then how could they be issued the automatic rifles they so desperately want ?

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The cops should read their civil service exam announcement flyer. That flyer outlines the duties of the police officer. If it said that cops need to wear the cameras somewhere in that flyer, then they have to.

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Ask the archdiocese.

Here we're talking about public servants not a private organization.

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The BPPA is under the gun from it's membership due to the Contract Arbitration ruling started under Mayor Menino after the futile attempts by Mayor Walsh to settle with the BPPA at the bargaining table. The Arbitrator screwed all the cops with less than 20 years on the job. Marty Walsh showed he could settle fairly by bargaining a contract with the Superior Officer's Union. The Angry Detectives Union went to Arbitration and got less than what Mayor Walsh offered, again losing. The BPPA is taking the Tough Guy position due to the pressure from the union members who question the current Leaderships' ability to be effective, as shown by the stupidly bargained for 100 volunteers agreement. What a joke!

Next, the BPPA WILL Lose the entire issue in court. This is a management right and technology bargaining is well settled in labor law. BPPA WILL LOSE THIS ONE AND THEIR MEMBERSHIP WILL FINALLY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY MAYBE TOUGH BUT NOT VERY SMART. SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE.

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