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John Connolly further explains his disappointment in some West Roxbury residents; says, no, he's not getting back into politics

Former City Councilor and lifelong West Roxbury resident John Connolly follows up on his thoughts on the Blue Lives Matter rally in front of the E-5 police station, by answering three questions he says he's gotten from people who, at least respectfully, disagree with him:

  1. 1. What happened at the rally that I object to?
  2. 2. Why don't I understand that people can support police and think Black lives matter?
  3. 3. What's my agenda?

For the record, he adds, he is not trying to get back into elected office:

I am happily retired from politics. These posts would be the single dumbest way for me to get back into politics.

Part of his followup:

Our country’s entire history shows that white lives matter more than black lives. When we say “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter”, it shows intentionally or unintentionally that we don’t understand that black lives have been devalued in our society. In other words, I believe George Floyd, Ahmaud Arberry, and Breonna Taylor would be alive today if they were white, and that they were murdered because they were black. That’s why it is important to say Black Lives Matter, and that’s why it is insensitive to equate support for a profession with support for a race. There are other ways to support first responders than by holding a rally with signs that are meant to undermine the message that Black Lives Matter.

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Comments

Connolly would be mayor right now if he had campaigned with this kind of authenticity in 2013.

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Voting closed 40

Morale is low on the police force. The majority of cops are good people and the rally (one, compared to dozens of Black lives matter) was meant to be a small show of support.

We are fortunate to have a police department that is better than the rest of the country with respect to race.

What “other ways” does Connelly suggest, since he’s calling people ignorant and insensitive? What about not being ignorant or insensitive to the good cops?

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Voting closed 59

Morale is low? That's because the "good cops" are protecting the "bad cops". Once the police unions start supporting that narrative that there are actually bad cops that should be removed from the force, then morale should be low.

Cops need to decide if they want to protect their communities or protect bad cops. This is the time to decide. At this point, all they do is protect bad cops.

So choose a side....bad cops or the communities they are sworn to support.

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Voting closed 91

I agree on one count, Boston police officers do show more restraint in use of lethal force, in some instances even when a teenage boy is pointing a gun at them. But we still have police-shooting homicides which you know if you've been watching the blacklivesmatter protest because you know who Hope Coleman is.

We also have police officers in a crowd-control situation punching girls flat on their backs in the face (May 29) and cops out of control at straight pride, and the use of chemical weapons, cop cars driven into a crowd on Boston Common and night sticks to clear an almost entirely peaceful protest (some boys #white were throwing things, everyone told them to stop and they did. If you don't believe me ask people who were there, including reporters and other contemporaneous postings on social media.) Just off the Common there were real problems and they could have focused on the arson, vandalism and looting rather than disbursing a peaceful protest going into it's 7th hour.

I contend there is a large gap between the police officer's view of their service and the public's view of it.

And we defintely have a problem with the political power of the patrolmen's union and how their advocacy makes the dept. worse. Racial disparity of police stops are an issue. BPD stopped reporting these stats for almost two years. I can't recall ever seeing a public report of police complaints, other cities publish that. The police withhold video evidence for months on end from the press and the public with the claim "ongoing investigation" and nothing more. Police said they agreed to wearing body cams and when the video is needed to see what happened none of them were--we're told because they were working overtime, LOL. It's a laughable reason. Who made that rule? The patrolmen's union went into court to lobby a municipal court to force the DA to charge non-violent crimes and the judge did so improperly and is being investigated. Prosecutorial discretion is the DAs authority, not the police, not the judge--the Mass Supreme Judicial Court affirmed that as a fact, formally.

Boston police are resistent to calls for change and they are enabled by a union and a mayor. Tell me your employer would keep you around in your job if you acted like that. And you're probably not even a public servant.

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You sound like a racist. I grew up in Roxbury, right on the Dorchester line. My 4 other siblings and I went to parochial schools in the Boston area. I was literally an alter boy. 98% percent of white cops I’ve encountered were racist, angry and pre-judged me and folks around me just because we were brown. I’m not a felon. I’ve had guns pointed at me EVERY time there was an encounter! Don’t give us that most cops I know are good people B.S.! Most brown people I know are good people! There is a, “go get ‘em culture” in every police department PERIOD! You’ll never know what it is to be black/brown in America!

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When do I get a rally to support my profession? Here's an idea, how about the police just do their job and do it properly. You know, how about they stop killing unarmed black people and beating the tar out of peaceful protestors for example. Instead they go out and repeatedly prove the point that they enjoy inflicting violence on citizens. It's astonishing to watch them prove the point that they consider blue lives far superior to all lives, especially black ones.

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Voting closed 77

The majority of cops are good people...

If they're good people, why are they not condemning the murders that Connolly named, murders that were committed by policemen in other cities? Those policemen are not their colleagues on the BPD. Why have they remained silent after the many other killings of black people before those three? Can they still be good people, when they give more importance to solidarity with other cops than they do to support for the people those cops are oppressing?

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Voting closed 67

Asserting a fact that Ahmed Barbery was killed by police, when in fact, he was murdered by private citizens. He was killed by racists, but not racist police.

Please name the unarmed Black man the BPD have killed. And who has remained silent? Bill Gross and the BPPA both condemned the George Floyd murder.

I grew up with 3 friends who are now cops. They are heroes and good people.

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Voting closed 33

If we really want to get into the weeds with Ahmaud Arbery, there are closer connections to law enforcement than to not.

Gregory McMichael, up until last year, was a career law enforcement officer. A career ended because he willfully failed to undergo mandatory annual training that is required in GA for LEOs to maintain their professional certification (hey, something we don't even have in MA), and it wasn't even the first time that had happened in his career. And it would appear that as it pertained to the actual or perceived burglaries in that neighborhood leading up to the killing of Arbery, that at least one local police officer referred local residents to Gregory McMichael for assistance in addressing these issues.

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Voting closed 52

Two prior DAs passed on charging the perps because of the father's decades long connection to law enforcement.

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Terrence Coleman

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Terrence Coleman violently attacked an unarmed EMT with a knife before being stopped by police.

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It is justification for killing in self-defense. That does not make the killing just or necessary or good policing.

The reason Hope called and asked for EMTs not the police is because her son needed medical help. She did not need nor want policemen with guns because she feared how they'd respond. He had mental illness.

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Voting closed 11

The officers attempted to appease Ms. Coleman's request and waited outside initially (according to the actual investigation, not a chanting mob in the a street or a greiving mother).

They shot Mr. Coleman when he was VIOLENTLY ATTACKING AN UNARMED EMT WITH A KNIFE.

Mental health issue or not, you cannot attempt to murder someone without possible deadly consequences.

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Voting closed 9

Please name the unarmed Black man the BPD have killed.

Please show where I said any such thing.

And who has remained silent? Bill Gross and the BPPA both condemned the George Floyd murder.

Who has remained silent? As far as I can tell, all of the other cops on the force, besides the two you named. If they're not standing up to be counted against the oppression of black people, they're remaining silent.

Maybe your 3 friends are heroes and good people. Maybe you can tell us how they have stood up against oppression.

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All the police I know have remained silent or picked through which murders were justified in their opinion. Listen hard to the conversations they’re having. You might find a tad bit of racism there.

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And the rest can go F themselves

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I am whole heartedly willing to support and boost the morale of police officers who:

  1. Say Black Lives Matter
  2. Acknowledge that the history of policing is one of killing black people, and state that they want it to stop
  3. Call for punishment of officers that are caught on camera out of line

If they don't, are they really "good cops" or just accessories after the fact?

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Voting closed 53

..that’s why it is insensitive to equate support for a profession with support for a race.

There are other ways to support first responders than by holding a rally with signs that are meant to undermine the message that Black Lives Matter.

- John Connolly, June 21, 2020

Amen brother.

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I don’t know him but I love him.

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In the last online published version of the local PD's union's mouthpiece, The Centurion, there is a complaint by the Treasurer thatBoston PDs are forced to work too much overtime.

I wondered:

He did not mentioned details.Eliminate details and that eliminates a large portion of the supposedly onerous burden of working too many hours.

Work with the Courts to reduce how much time PDs have to wait to be called for cases. Court cases are human affairs; judges control them.

The local police union is too weak to implement better work-life balances where overtime is involved?

What I read was a whining complaint. An attitude that is just about complaints. Not positive action; just whining, complaining, crying oh me, oh my.

This from the same magazine that at the early part of the decade communicated a fundamental support of racism.

Are police overall better in Boston than other major cities? Perhaps.

But Boston police have the same weakness as police in many major cities. The perception that they are a class unto themselves; that somehow they are exceptional. The outrageous salaries are a evidence.

Earlier generations of police were given the privilege of being local kings.To the point where police and criminal gangs co-mingled and was often ignored.

But then the same poisonous relationships existed between local judges and powerful criminal kingpins.

One thing that is needed is for police to no longer carry a philosophy of somehow being exceptional. They are not. We all are ultimately just Bozos on the bus.

One idea mentioned is that too many police are drawn from ex-military. Another group that suffers the social ailment of believing they are exceptional.

We need police who are socially, mentally and philosophically rooted in being part of the community and city; not police whose self-perception is rooted in being exceptional and outside the community.

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Read this story. It's written by a white woman who kept getting stopped by the cops. She was doing nothing wrong, but he cops always approached her as if she were a dangerous felon. It took her months to figure out why they were stopping her.

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story illustrates a phenomenon-- excessive police stops based on racial prejudice.

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John, the white Community have a lot to learn about racism. The people of color Community equally have a lot to learn about racism.

As a person of color, I must equally check myself for racial inequities in my own personality. I am certainly for the movement.

John, you're an incredible courageous, diverse, thoughtful, well-rounded and well-grounded human being. I am proud of you and I am admire you for your position. Not so much because of your position, because of your bravery to explain your position.

You got my vote in Dorchester.

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