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PHOTOS: Aggressive Arrests On Boston Common

Are police too rough with protesters?

Police are back in the news for how they interact with protesters and the public when making an arrest.

During Sunday's counter-protest to a permitted Tea Party rally, police were photographed arresting people on the Boston Common and one picture in particular, of an officer with his hands around the neck of a person who didn't appear to be resisting, has caused outrage. 

The photo, taken by Paul Weiskel, a history student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, has made its rounds on the Internet and prompted criticism of the police department.

But police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said that officers responded appropriately. She told the Boston Globe, "The aggressive nature of these individuals required officers to call for numerous additional units to respond. The department supports the arrests made by the officers today. As a matter of routine procedure following a day of aggressive protests, the department will review all of the activity that took place during the course of the day.”

Weiskel said that the protester was not arrested, according to the Globe article. 

Police also appear to be blocking Weiskel from taking photos, just weeks after the city paid a man $170,000 for illegally arresting him for taking photos of police making an arrest on the Common in 2007. In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled people filming public officials on the job are protected by the First Amendment, according to wbur.org.

We at Patch want to know what you think of police conduct. Are they overstepping their bounds or responding appropriately? Let us know in our poll. 

Kasey Hariman April 16, 2012 at 07:49 PM
So far 80% of people polled (well, 8 votes out of 10 votes) think that the force was excessive. Anyone feel like elaborating on their position, whether they're in the majority or minority? Do these police actions make you feel more or less safe in Boston?
LEGAL LA April 17, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Police should establish a dialogue , protesters have rights of free speech! Cooler cops are needed, A PROTEST NEVER HURT A SOUL BUT A OVER ROUGH POLICEMAN COULD BRING ON GREAT VIOLENCE AND PROPERTY DAMAGE AS WITNESSED IN LONDON. lETS NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE IN bOSTON
Mark orroa April 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
You want to show up with a mask covering your face with the intenent of causing trouble to a permitted groups rally and when you are asked to move you resist then the incedent goes to the next level stop blaming the police. If this was a rally by the occupy people they wouldnt stand for any counter rally. These idiots not only tried to disrupt the rally but alow charged the stage. You want to be peacefull you will find that the police wont do anything. You want to act like an idiot you get treated like a trouble making idiot
Andrew Jeromski April 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Here is the video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC_Nyz86ayo&feature=youtu.be See for yourself.
Kasey Hariman April 19, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Wow, the numbers have changed -- now, out of 38 votes, 18 people feel that the police were using appropriate force and 20 people feel the force they were using is inappropriate.

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