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City councilor acknowledges livestreaming a murder scene outside her house might not have been the best idea

Councilor Julia Mejia (at large) is apologizing for Facebook Live video she took outside her house after Brandon Williams was shot dead in his car at Capen and Evans streets.

But the apology - and her taking down the video, may not be enough for the family friends of the father of a young daughter, Live Boston reports. There is now an online petition calling on her to resign.

If you don't want to watch the apology, itself done as a video, the Boston Sun has excerpts.

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Comments

Ah, yes, that sudden, insuperable urge to be a part of the story. Social media has turned us all into thoughtless drones masquerading as food critics and beat reporters, even if it's another's tragedy or we're a person of public trust who should have known what not to do in such circumstances.

Also, we need to relax with these cries for resignation at the slightest feeling of discomfort. Photographing a public event is not illegal and this is the person who people voted for. Sign your petition inside the voting booth.

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Voting closed 11

And refusing to cooperate with police after witnessing a murder isn't something one would normally expect from a city councilor.

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Do we know why they chose that photo of her in particular to illustrate their petition?

Edit: Yes, it was indeed a rhetorical question.

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Voting closed 23

You mean, besides the obvious reason?

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...gotta blow that whistle if you want the dogs to bark.

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Love the pic. Don’t care for Mejia. Her kid is in a grant funded educational pod while BPS has left behind thousands of children of color this school year.

She’s not above cronyism and insider deals.

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What the fuck does that word salad have to do with the issue at hand?

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It speaks to character. Once considered important in elected officials.

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Because it’s an awesome picture?

Yeah, awesome pictures are the ones you use when you want to take someone down.

WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

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I doubt it will do a lick of good, but I had to leave a comment on the Live Boston page about it. They use the same one as the final pic in the story, following the line, "it brings into question if that person is fit to represent the people of the city of Boston." Rolled my eyes so hard I got a headache. Because hanging out with drag queens proves... something. Ow.

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Seems like she lamely apologized for posting the FB Live video and for publicly upsetting the family, but not for disrupting the crime scene or (alleged) lack of cooperation with police.

If she's truly purporting to be a responsible mother, neighbor, and member of the community, those actions (or lack of) should be as important, or more important, than the social media / circus side.

This is very bad, all around, and she deserves the critique.

I am going by the Sun article and didn't watch her video, so please correct me if I she actually apologized for these larger failures.

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That someone was murdered outside a city councilor's house? Being a person of relative privilege doesn't mean you stop seeing your neighbors murdered. It appears that what she live streamed was harmful to the family of the murder victim, but if attention isn't drawn to this situation will it be less likely to be addressed?

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I mean, it seems right of her to apologize when people close to the victim found it offensive. But isn't the whole idea of neighborhood representation that we have elected officials who experience what's going on in the neighborhoods and can let everyone know firsthand that change is needed?

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Is it an attempt to draw attention to a horrific crime and call for action on behalf of her neighborhood or is it rather an attempt to insert herself into a crime scene and follow up news story to draw attention to herself?

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Because it happened next door to a city councilor's house? Nope.

Both stories are important. The murder for obvious reasons. But Mejia's actions are news because an elected official should know better. Livestreaming a crime scene on Facebook (and apparently showing a dead person)? Come on.

Want to draw attention to the situation? First, call 911 so at least maybe the guy gets medical attention if that'd help. Then spend some minutes composing a statement about how the violence in Boston's black & brown neighborhoods is unacceptable and how it can even happen in front of a city councilor's home. Maybe take a moment to offer the family next door a chance to make their feelings heard.

Unless you've got a p.r. staffer at hand to sanity check what you plan to post or stream, it's really not a good idea for public officials or celebrities to use social media. It's just way too easy to shoot yourself in the foot or worse.

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I'm truly shocked that a blog describing itself on its About page as "helping local departments and [police] unions get the recognition they deserve" would find a way to get on a soapbox about Julia Mejia. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that she's been outspoken about our unhinged police.

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Looks like Live Boston studied at the Trump School of Capitalization.

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The blog is run by first responders in Boston. Is the blog wrong for blogging about the incident or is Mejia wrong for her actions?

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Is a police blog "wrong" for advancing a police agenda? That is a very theoretical question and I'm not sure my opinion matters as I don't have control over their content. I felt the added context would be helpful for some readers who may have missed the politically charged nature of one of the linked sources.

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But if she was truly live streaming (i.e. the event that was being shown was happening at that same time) then what did she do wrong? Leaving it up? OK, people were offended and hurt, so she took it down. I think people (not the family, but everyone else) is upset that she showed how bad it can be on the street. Perhaps more light on what really goes on will finally get people's attention and help to stop all the senseless killing.

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Per the LiveBoston story:

Allegedly after hearing gunshots ring out in her neighborhood, Councilor Mejia without hesitation picked up the phone and started a live stream. Rather than call 911, or offer assistance, she decided to use the tragic death of her neighbor for her own self promotion according to those who saw the video. Those who saw the video, including the victims family report that Mejia can be seen walking into what was an active crime scene, up to the body of the deceased, and proceeding to touch objects in the scene and possibly the corpse. The video allegedly goes on to show her refusing to cooperate with police and then further upsetting the family by telling them false information about the man’s condition, indicating that he may be alive and further causing more chaos.

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Her actions are questionable. There is the accusation that she started livestreaming instead of calling 911 (questionable, but a question with asking) and the accusation that during the livestream she did not cooperate with law enforcement investigating the murder, which is a big accusation to answer.

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To what extent are members of the public required to "cooperate with law enforcement?" Was she actually hindering an investigation? Does being an elected official strip her of her constitutional right to not speak to cops?

(I know nothing of the situation, BTW. Just putting these questions out there because it's interesting.)

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An ordinary citizen, under no obligation. Many refuse to speak to us at crime scenes almost daily.

But this isn’t an ordinary citizen, this is an elected member of the City Council who may have provided something to the police of evidentiary value and outright refused. Just bad optics all around.

- a Boston Cop

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But how does the electorate feel about non-cooperation with law enforcement on a murder investigation?

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feels that all residents of the city have the constitutional right not to speak to cops and to consult with an attorney before doing so. And especially understands why a person of color would want to make sure to have representation if choosing to provide information at all.

Which is why I'm asking whether she actually actively did something to hinder an investigation, or whether she is just exercising her rights, thus setting a great example for the rest of us.

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To the cops:

1. People who did something and don’t want to incriminate themselves.

2. People who didn’t do anything and either just don’t want to or don’t want to get in trouble for something they didn’t do.

3. People who are witnesses to crimes who are afraid of retaliation because of potential harm to themselves or their family.

She may be in tough spot but she knows that if she isn’t speaking because of #3, she may be getting one of her constituents hurt over the safety of herself. That’s the potential issue here.

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Were the victim a friend or family member of yours, wouldn't you want witnesses to come forth so that the perpetrator of the crime could be brought to justice?

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But a public official also bears some responsibility to set a good example for her constituents. If an elected official, by her actions or lack thereof, tacitly endorses the idea of "don't snitch," then it becomes even more difficult for the police to do their job of catching those responsible and bringing them to justice.

The WaPo in 2018 reported that BPD cleared nearly 90% of homicide cases with white victims and only 42% of cases with black victims. One issue is the type of murder -- i.e. gang violence/drive-by shootings are notoriously difficult to solve. But it really doesn't help if the community doesn't want to help the police solve a case.

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"What we found was shocking. Allegedly after hearing gunshots ring out in her neighborhood, Councilor Mejia without hesitation picked up the phone and started a live stream. Rather than call 911, or offer assistance, she decided to use the tragic death of her neighbor for her own self promotion according to those who saw the video. Those who saw the video, including the victims family report that Mejia can be seen walking into what was an active crime scene, up to the body of the deceased, and proceeding to touch objects in the scene and possibly the corpse. The video allegedly goes on to show her refusing to cooperate with police and then further upsetting the family by telling them false information about the man’s condition, indicating that he may be alive and further causing more chaos."

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Why do good people on either side of any particular issue let this kind of thing slide?
My take on the councilor is she has a very clear motive. I believe that motive is all about self-advancement and she clearly used this situation to shine a spot-light on herself.
Undeniably there is a plague of violence in this city and every possible resource should be used to end it. That being said, what the councilor did was reprehensible and in no way brings us any closer to ending the aforementioned plague and she should be called out on her actions by anyone not being disingenuous.
Just my take.

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Live streaming the event doesn't seem so bad. Her soapboxing and politicizing it was worse.

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isn't that her job?

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has anyone seen the video in question?

I keep seeing ppl say her motivation was self-promotion and I don't understand where they are getting that from? Sounds like projection. I also understand not calling the cops as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd option. I imagine she's from the neighborhood which means there's an extremely high chance she has had a traumatic incident with BPD.

The only things she has to apologize for is if she streamed the victims lifeless body and contaminated the crime scene. That's callous and depending on how she did it, disrespectful as hell. Someone was murdered in front of her home, I don't blame her for starting recording, it's an objective witness.

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And do we know for a fact that she didn't determine whether 911 had been called? I live on a close-knit Roxbury street, and if something happens, people go outside, the group texts start blowing up, and we'll know right away that someone's already called. Are people alleging that she was the only one on a dense street to know that something happened, and was the only one able to call 911? They showed up, didn't they?

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Mejia took ownership of a murder, and didn't do the right thing. Why are you bending over backwards to defend her? If G_s forbid somebody you love were murdered would you be ok with their death being a live stream event. She put her hands on a dead man because she felt like it. It is obscene.

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This person who is supposed to be one of the leaders in our city doesn't have the sense to stop filming and start helping? Her first instinct is to film instead of call for help to perhaps try to save a life? (I'm sure she couldn't tell as she started filming whether the man was alive or not.) She says she was trying to show what her neighborhood is like with the crime? Everyone already knows. How about trying to show what a neighborhood could be and help your neighbor.

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I hope this serves to remind ms mejia that she is a city councilor and needs to be more professional in her actions. She “got too big for her britches” as my mom used to say to me. This story comes across as quite arrogant on her part.

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