The majority of people who've made their way through Franklin Park in the last week or so probably don't know about two haunting things recently discovered in the recreational haven. On Aug. 29, two people who were magnet fishing in Scarboro Pond off a bridge pulled up something heavy -- a firearm. Boston Police met Park Rangers and the two people who fished out the gun, which was loaded and covered in muddy gunk, according to BPDnews.com. Due to the mud, the make and model were not immediately identified, and the firearm was given to the BPD Ballistics Unit for further investigation.
Residents are being asked to provide community feedback during listening sessions of the Boston Police Reform Task Force starting July 22. The gathered input will be used to review the BPD's policies, practices, and to recommend reform measures. Residents are being asked to share their experiences on any of the four topics that are being covered:
The Body Worn Camera Program: Wednesday, July 22, 3-5 pm
Implicit bias training: Thursday, July 23, 3-5 pm
Strengthening Boston's existing police review board, known as the Co-op Board: Wednesday, July 29, 3-5 pm
Reviewing the use of force policies: Thursday, July 30, 3-5 pm
Testimony can also be submitted in any language either written or via the WebEx listening sessions. Written testimony can also be submitted before or after the listening sessions by emailing BPDTaskforce@boston.gov. You can also learn more information on how to participate at boston.gov/ending-racism. The Task Force will submit their initial recommendations by August 14, 2020.
The Massachusetts State Senate passed an unprecedented police reform bill early Tuesday morning when most people were sleeping after many hours of debate. The bill passed 30-7, and would do many things including ban the use of chokeholds by police; limit the use of tear gas; create a committee that would certify all law enforcement officers; prohibit police from shooting into moving vehicles, except for limited circumstances; create uniform standards for training police across the commonwealth. The House will debate the bill before July 31 when the current legislative session ends. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he wanted to hold a virtual hearing on the Senate bill this week. Last month Governor Charlie Baker filed his own legislation to create a system that would license police and hold them accountable to a set of professional standards.
We've all noticed that there has been an increase in renegade fireworks being shot off across the city this month. There have been so many complaints to the city that Mayor Walsh created a task force to tackle the issue of illegal fireworks. "Fireworks are a serious issue not only in the city of Boston, but all across the country. People lose sleep, babies get woken up, some people with PTSD experience real harms, pets are terrified and they're fire hazards," said Mayor Walsh. Fireworks calls to the Boston Police Department were up by 5,543% in June 2020 compared to the previous June, according to a city press release.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr was in Boston on Thursday and met with Boston Police Commissioner William Gross. That meeting sparked criticism from many elected officials, and led to Gross defending why he met with the controversial head of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Department of Justice tweeted out a photo of Barr and Gross shoulder-to-shoulder, and not wearing masks together in Boston. Supposedly it was the first time a sitting U.S. Attorney General had visited the Boston Police Department. As chief legal counsel to the president, Barr has most recently been widely condemned for ordering peaceful protestors to be teargassed in Washington D.C. to clear the way for President Trump to walk where the protestors were occupying so he could do a photo op.