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Police union, DA, battle over the meaning of Sunday night

The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association yesterday charged Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins called all police officers murderers in her comments after Sunday night's rampages. Rollins shot back that the union statement is proof of white fragility.

At issue are Rollins's comments at a Monday press conference at City Hall (watch) in which she pledged to prosecute the 53 people arrested after a peaceful march and vigil but then said white people should take note of the "burning rage" behind the peaceful march, that black people are exhausted by an endless stream of cops across the country who "shoot us in the street as if we are animals."

And she said she found it ironic that black people had to tell whites on Sunday to please keep your voice down, please follow the directives of police, "those very people who murder us with impunity."

The BPPA responded yesterday, essentially: How dare you! In a tweet and letter to Rollins, it said she was "slandering our officers as murderers," mocking violence and putting police lives at risk because she was implicitly calling for more violence.

"The people of Suffolk County most assuredly deserve better," the letter concludes.

Rollins replied in a tweet:

You mean Anti-Police BRUTALITY. And did I somehow miss BPPA’s letter denouncing the murder of George Floyd and calling for the immediate termination and prosecution of the 4 police that murdered him and/or watched and did nothing while he died? White fragility is real people.

Today, state Rep. Nika Elugardo (D-15th Suffolk/Norfolk) backed Rollins:

She is calling out a reality. Her words are truth and give voice to the trauma and pain of generations. I call on our patrolmen to stand with her and us. Denounce this behavior as our defenders, our brothers and sisters, and partners in justice.

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Comments

Are made up of the most fragile snowflakes in the world. The delicate little butterfly feelings of their members need to be constantly massaged and their egos needs constant validation.

This post will be seen as an "assault" on these delicate and sensitive creatures.

In the last week, we have all heard and seen dozens of videos of cops committing *ACTUAL* assault on citizens with tear gas, batons, shields, fists, and weapons.

These cops WORK FOR US, and each one of them needs to be fired and charged.

Now, will someone please lead the BPPA over to the fainting couch, because clearly my words were too much for his tender little soul.

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The LA police union tonight also posted a similar whiny diatribe directed at an elected official who also happens to be a woman of color. Must be something in the water?

Cops, via their unions, will never pass on an opportunity to fill their diapers in public.

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Need to be launched into space.

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I disagree with the notion that police unions need to be launched into space. I do believe, however, that they're seriously in need of intensive overhauls and reforms, so that they'll be held accountable if rogue cops in their leagues abuse citizens and violate their civil rights, and will not only quit defending rogue cops, but have them severely disciplined and permanently dismissed from their respective police departments, if necessary..

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They don't seem to be "unions" in the usual sense, at all. They seem more like corrupt protective organizations operating under the protective coloration of a labor union.

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There is little to no need for collective action to oppose concentrated management power in the public sector, where management consists of elected representatives doubly sensitive to the demands of the workers, as workers and as constituents.

Private sector unionization is a matter of federal law. Massachusetts could and should ban public sector unionization. The BPPA is a shining example of how it goes so so wrong and harms the public.

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If you can point to even a single instance where this has happened, I'd be interested.

Police unions are a special toy of the oligarchy - everyone else gets hung out to dry and they don't care.

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This is irrelevant to my point, which applies equally to all public sector unions.

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Most management in public sector unions is not elected, just elected officials’ lackeys. Your entire opinion is based on a falsehood.

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She calls the Boston Police murderers, and then follows that up with a racial insult?

I'm trying to see to there side on this one.

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These macho twits have been gunning for her ever since she dared to be a DA while being black and female.

Never mind that the voters - who are also the people this guy works for - put her in there for a lot of very good reasons.

Go back to reading Pax Centurion and scrubbing black boot polish off your lips.

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this awful in person everyday? or just as a keyboard SJW? try to be nice. i bet you can't!

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Your shrinkage issues are not my problem.

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Ok Karen.

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Triggered.

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You are awful

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You got two of UHub's contrarian regulars to spit-take their brandy. Well done, madame.

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And just when they started to dry out the crying towels they got all sopping wet over police not being "respected", you had to go and state some inconvenient facts and ruin their whole narrative of the poor victimized cops. You hurt their feelings and made them blubber like the fragile snowflakes they are, Swirly. Can't you just be nice? Don't you know that that's what women are supposed to do, appease men's wounded feelings?

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You are spot on! I know it must've infuriated them to see the officers who actually took a knee with the protesters in front of headquarters the other night. I for one am glad I voted for her.

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tend to be followed by an oversimplication of a nuanced statement framed in a way that sounds damning. why is that?

in plain text, can you point to where she called Boston Police murderers? then, please point to the racial insult you described.

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The tweet is linked above, so is the press conference. She said police murder at will, with impunity. In her reply, she said "white fragility" is real. Those are the two specific things I was talking about.

She did not qualify her statement, so since Boston Police are police, they are in that group. And she made a very good point in her retort about the BPPA not condemning the murder of George Floyd, but there was no need to say "white fragility is real." Also, the BPD is 35% non-white.

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White fragility is real, to say so is not racist.

Educate yourself before you speak.

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It's very clear what she meant. They just chose to interpret it in the way that they wanted to, which is to make them look like the victim. We need the police to work WITH us to solve systemic racism. Acting all offended because things weren't worded just how they would like it is just silly and a waste of everyone's time.

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Are fragile. Even when they wear blue uniforms.

The subtext here: HOW DARE THE VOTERS ELECT SOMEONE THAT WE CAN'T CONTROL! WAHHHHH!

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Thank you for engaging in a reasonable discussion.

We disagree, so be it. However, if you want some one to work with you, or agree to your way of viewing things, it is generally a poor strategy to insult them and then say they shouldn't be insulted. It makes people less receptive to your ideas.

And since she is a politician, she should be expected to choose her words carefully. She's relatively new to politics, so it's understandable, but I don't think it helps the situation.

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that you’re the one that refuses to budge on whether it was an insult or not and you haven’t provided a reasonable explanation as to why you’re offended. if you aren’t going to move on that basic premise, or at least explain your point of view rather than presupposing that it is true, then it’s not a conversation anymore.

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She qualified her statement for the Commissioner (Bill Gross) and the Sheriff (Steve Tompkins) and then said “but that’s management, not the rank and file.” So she specifically included them in her remarks.

Regardless, once the BPAA replied they were insulted, that’s reality. Acknowledge their feelings, she could have even replied the way you did, “I don’t know how someone could have interpreted...” but don’t dismiss it.

The BPD has no track record of shooting unarmed black men. So she could have said , be better, which is what we need. Don’t spit in the eye of the people you want to improve. Complete lack of leadership.

White fragility is a book written about how white liberals cannot handle being told they are racist, not murderers. Educate yourself. Not many white liberals on the BPD.

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that’s like if i were to tell you that dogs bark and your response was well not ALL dogs bark, so that’s not true. you didn’t qualify your statement, therefore you were talking about all dogs.

the need to find something to be aggrieved about in the most anodyne of statements is exactly the white fragility she’s talking about. it’s petty as hell and you sound small when you do that.

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For those new(ish) to Boston, the BPPA is in the news occasionally. Recall back in 2012 when their newsletter contained writing so offensive just about every advertiser pulled out. (They did show remorse for having the writing be public.) And they've also been sued and lost. Such fun!

Because I'm too lazy to compile all the links, I suggest people look at the UHub BPPA tag.

I don't think all cops support the leadership of that group but enough of them do to stain the entire force. They pretty much are the embodiment of everything that's wrong with policing. They are the biggest obstacle to police reform.

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Let's speculate that what you say is true. Does that mean because the BPPA is offensive it's okay for the DA to be offensive?

I noticed you did not defend her, you just pointed out the BPPA was a bad actor.

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Pointing out the police unions role in enabling police brutality in this moment is extremely relevant. Rollins choice of words may be indelicate, but police unions have steadfastly been part of the problem. So you shouldn't give a damn what they read into her tweet nor for their hurt feelings. They need to be better. They need to stop protecting police who commit acts of brutality and murder - for the sake of both victims and upstanding police alike.

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If they really want to dispute the claim (which Rollins really never made) that "all cops are murderers" they could start by condemning the actual murderers, rather than trying to pick a fight with someone speaking on behalf of the victims. It would make a much more convincing case.

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I'm pointing out articles written about BPPA. There is no question they published their newsletters. You can go read some archived copies if you'd like.

As for the DA, I think twitter battles are a waste of time. I don't really care what she said or how they responded. I care about the fact BPPA has shown no interest in helping solve the problems within the police department.

The best way to keep cops safe is to keep them on good terms with the community. That fact seems to be lost on the BPPA.

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???? what was offensive about her statement ????

i’m seriously honestly confused about where the comment section is leaning right now. i cannot for the life of me find anything in her statement that should offend any particular group.

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Let's speculate that what you say is true. The BPPA is written as though it were the collective voice of the Boston police union. If it's written like a poorly-worded sixth-grade civics essay, and also calls for violence against people of color, should we also conclude every member of the police union is an illiterate white supremacist?

I noticed you did not defend the incoherent take the BPPA had, you just pointed out that Rollins didn't totally agree with you and is thus offensive.

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In case anyone needs a reminder. Boston Cops did not murder any one of these victims. Who did?

https://www.universalhub.com/yir/2019/murders

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Killers?
It's only news if the media says its news, most of these murders are one or maybe two day stories, they are not newsworhy ( in their opinion ) so they move on to the next shiny object.
I'm glad this site keeps track of the victims

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Rather than get sucked into a bad-faith argument about what you're implying here, I'll just remind everyone that, while Boston may not have newsworthy incidents of police violence as often as some other large metros, our policing culture and practice are far from perfect. The BPPA never takes responsibility for anything and is always on the attack, lashing out at every slight from anybody. They're elected by rank and file BPD officers, so it's hard to conclude anything other than that the views of the union are more or less in line with the views of the average Boston cop. It's hard to trust a group that seems so sensitive and resistant to accountability or public scrutiny.

R.I.P. Terrence Coleman

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BPPA never takes responsibility for anything and is always on the attack, lashing out at every slight from anybody

This is pretty much what all unions do. I worked in a temp job at a BPS school and a teachers union rep came into the school to talk to a teacher. He was nice to me and any teacher he saw. As soon as the vice principal came into the office, he basically screamed and was rude and condescending to her. I'm sure other unions reps are the same to anyone who may have any kind of authority over their members.

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"And she said she found it ironic that black people had to tell whites on Sunday to please keep your voice down, please follow the directives of police, "those very people who murder us with impunity."

Why follow the directives of the people who murder with impunity?

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Whenever violence breaks out, whites seem to love telling blacks to calm down, follow the directions of police and everything will be OK.

What she was talking about was that as vigils break up of late, it's white guys who are going on smashing rampages (yes, even here) and it's been blacks who have been telling them to stop that, to chill, to follow the orders of police.

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It's amazing.
I saw reference to this somewhere else earlier, and I was wondering where the truth lay, because the reporting/writing was so bad that it gave the Union characterization of her tweet, and her characterization of her tweet - but never bothered to include the actual quote!
---
Having since reviewed twitter, here it is from Saturday May 30 - pinned at the top of her page:

Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Christian Cooper. While we are being murdered at will by the police & their proxy, privileged racists like Amy Cooper play the victim. No more apologies. No more words. Demand action. Radical change now. Nothing less

In general? That statement is broad enough to justify the Police complaint and nonspecific enough to give her a little cover.
Really, though - she's smart. She wouldn't have gotten as far as she has in her profession without being smart. She's smart enough to know how her statement will be interpreted and smart enough to phrase it differently if she didn't want it that way. Perhaps she sees it as a worthwhile tradeoff.

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I honestly can't see how that statement is at all controversial. Police are some of the most thin skinned babies out there. Jesus.

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...they WERE murdered. So what's your beef?

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How all the air traffic controllers got fired, but we still have air travel? Or how all the umpires got fired, but we still have baseball?

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There are still air traffic controllers and umpires. Flying and baseball wouldn't be possible without them.

If you're suggesting bad cops can and should be fired, the only group who disagrees is the BPPA.

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There are still air traffic controllers and umpires. Flying and baseball wouldn't be possible without them.

in some weird circuitous way, i think that’s his point.

weird thing for a libertarian to say, but i don’t really understand his schtick.

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Reagan fired all the ATC's in the 80s. We still have flights.

The head of the umpires' union tried to engineer a mass resignation in 1999. It was accepted, and many umpires never worked in the big leagues again, although some came back.

Maybe we give that a try with cops. Also, how is canning a whole union *not* libertarian, especially when it's for the purpose of removing violent actors?

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okay i’m following now.

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Can anyone list the officers and their departments who have been prosecuted by District Attorney Rachael Rollins and Attorney General Maura Healey for police brutality against people of color? There must be dozens if not hundreds of cases brought forth by these two champions of civil rights.

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How nice of the BPPA to clearly stack the comments section here, but it doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of people out here are finally getting onboard with the knowledge that the police are the largest domestic terrorism group we have. The last few days of unending video from across the country has been a big help. Now it's in the law-makers hands. Defund police forces, slash budgets by 60% or more. Demilitarize their arsenals, forcing them back to community policing. Disband all police unions in favor of city and municipal based unions that represent all public servants. Form Citizen-based oversight committees to investigate all complaints against police. And probably most importantly focus on education rather than past military service as a qualification to police hiring and promotion.

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With each passing day, I am more and more proud of my vote for Rollins. There are many good officers out there but their union reps are complete clowns who need to read the room and stfu.

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I wish an enterprising reporter would ask Boston Police Patrolmen's Association President Lawrence "Larry" Calderone about the time he was the victim of police brutality and injured so badly by a Statie and his horse that he was on disability for 6 months and took the unheard of step of suing a fellow cop. It would be great to hear him speculate on if the incident would have been better or worse for him if was black. http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/09/19/boston_officer_...

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Does DA Rollins have a plan to get guns off the street? Instead of criticizing the BPD, she should be applauding them for putting their lives on the line, trying to make the streets safe in the neighborhoods. They take guns off teenagers & 20 somethings daily with limited use of force. DA Rollins comments are an insult to 99% of the cops, especially the men and women of color who serve.

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Most people are able to walk and chew gum at the same time by the age five or six. Police can act against violent crime without criminalizing dissent or, y'know, being black.

DA Rollins comments are an insult to 99% of the cops, especially the men and women of color who serve.

If that 99% can't restrain the 1%, they are useless and ineffective.
If that 99% won't restrain the 1%, they are just another criminal gang.

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