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Retired chief justice to lead investigation into how police handled the naked Harvard student; charges dropped against student

Ireland

Cambridge officials announced today the city has hired Roderick Ireland, retired chief justice of the state Supreme Judicial Court, to conduct an independent review of how Cambridge police officers arrested a 21-year-old Harvard student standing naked on a Massachusetts Avenue traffic island on April 13.

Chief Justice Ireland will have access to the evidence related to the arrest, including police reports, witness statements and video, as well as the personnel, policies and trainings related to the arrest, and will then conduct an independent review of the findings determined by the Cambridge Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit.

Separately, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office has dropped all charges against the student, the Crimson reports.

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Comments

Already has a civilian review board so hiring outside experts means the cops will be found to be at fault. When in doubt blame the Transit cop who jumped in to help the Cambridge cop subdue the naked Harvard student. More important shouldn't the Cambridge officials be more concerned with finding out who plied this poor kid with drugs that could have killed him.

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And Cambridge should RETRAIN THEIR FORCE to deal with these things like BOSTON DID.

They are DECADES behind the curve here. This has been known for a while and they have NOT done SHIT about their poor training and violent attacks on mentally ill people. Some fatal.

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He wan't a poor kid, he was a smart and well-educated adult.

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Mental illness? Drug induced psychosis? All the above?

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This shit has gotten out of control. We all saw the video. This was completely fine and routine police work. There is nothing for some overpaid former judge to investigate. If CPD would equip their officers with tasers, then most of the hands on "violence" we saw would have not been necessary. But in the scenario we saw, the hands on "violence" was necessary. We as a society have decided that we don't want drugged out naked people running around playing in traffic, and have a police force that we pay to enforce the rules our society has decided on even if such enforcement requires the use of violence. Even if they are privileged POC Harvard students.

That being said, I am glad the charges were dismissed against the student. The guy was most likely a good kid with a bright future that made a minor stupid decision (like a lot of college students do). No need to charge him with anything.

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And some of us know that routine doesn't equal acceptable.

In fact, that makes it LESS acceptable.

The police need to be trained to handle these things without excessive force and violence because force and violence are NOT what is needed and are NOT acceptable.

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The student was resisting arrest and fighting with the cops. The cops had to restrain the guy. He was on drugs and out of control. I don't see how the cops were at fault here.

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Where did you see that? Got a source?

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He incurred the charges the night of Yardfest, Harvard’s annual spring concert, when CPD officers arrested and physically confronted him as he stood—naked and likely under the influence of narcotics—on a street median feet from campus. -- The Harvard Crimson

I agree with Pete Nice, at some point, physical intervention is necessary to limit injury to the drug addled subject and others. Had he bolted from the median into oncoming traffic and been killed or caused the death of a motorist(s), Cambridge Police would have been asked why they didn't follow the force continuum that trains officers that physical force may be used if the police actions that normally gain compliance, like simply showing up (officer presence) and verbal commands, aren't working.

The real question is if Middlesex County has set a precedent that drug and/or alcohol intoxication allows a free pass on what is at a minimum indecent exposure and potentially felony open and gross lewdness. I'm sure there are many on the sex offender registry who would like the same consideration but lack the Harvard pedigree.

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The CPD has not confirmed a tox screen, nor will they.

Kid is the prime age for psychotic break. Delusions start between 16 and 30. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/schizophrenia

Of course, he committed a "crime" known as "naked black male" so the cops get a free pass for keeping traffic safe or something.

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Check out the link to the WCVB reporting that was posted below an hour before your post was put up.

I guess my reply to the other part of you comment is to have you ponder what the police would do it there were a naked white guy standing on that traffic island? The answer might surprise you, which is the saddest thing of all.

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Or else you would be basically waiting until the guy fell asleep on his own (or died on his own).

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The Harvard student isn't a kid, he's an adult.

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Weren't they the ones so ahead of times that all the former President had to offer was a Beer Summit ?

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