UPDATED: 6/4/20 at 3:00 p.m.
by Bea Aldrich
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is responding after the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association wrote a letter condemning her over what they called “reckless statements.”
The BPPA said those statements included “labeling all police officers ‘murderers,’ and the corresponding tweets that undoubtedly incited violence against the proud men and women of the Boston Police Department.”
On Saturday, Rollins tweeted “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.”
The BPPA’s letter referenced this tweet, saying their job to contain the violence during Sunday night’s protest in Boston was made harder because of her “reckless tweet calling for ‘no more words,’ which was followed within 24 hours with violence against the police, and the likes of which this City has not seen in a generation.”
On twitter, the BPPA said Rollins’ remarks were “Anti-Police.”
“You mean Anti-Police BRUTALITY,” Rollins wrote in response.
Rollins told WBZ-TV that she respects the "majority of police officers that go to work every day, and are honorable, and decent, and kind, and culturally competent people."
When asked by WBZ-TV whether she would had a response to the BPPA letter, Rollins said she is “still waiting with bated breath to read their statement denouncing the murder of George Floyd and their peers who engaged in that criminal homicidal behavior.”
“So, once I get that I’d love to comment,” Rollins said. “I don’t know whether the check is in the mail or the letter is in the mail, but we’ll see what they say about that.”
BPPA president Larry Calderone, while speaking on WBZ’s Nightside with Dan Rea, said “anybody that watched the [video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck] knows that is was wrong. You don’t have to be a police officer to see what happened there.”
“We don’t have this problem in Massachusetts,” Calderone said. “Our police department is highly educated, well trained, and we would never let something like that happen. We would not condone that type of activity. So no, I don’t think an open letter is necessary. I think it goes without question as a human being that you know that’s wrong.”
In a statement to WBZ NewsRadio, Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said that the state "is not immune to violent policing."
"In Boston, a federal judge recently refused to dismiss an ACLU lawsuit challenging a botched Boston police SWAT raid where officers violently entered and ransacked a home without knocking and held a family with children at gunpoint and in handcuffs for at least 20 minutes — even though their apartment number did not match the address on the warrant," Rose said.
According to Rose, violent policing has also been seen outside of Boston. She said that "Athol police were sued when an officer grabbed a woman with bipolar disorder by her shirt, took her to the ground, and tased her simply because she did not give him her hands for handcuffing."
Rose also said that in Springfield, "the misconduct of police officers and the department itself has triggered a federal investigation, criminal indictments, civil lawsuits, and increasing media scrutiny."
"Make no mistake: It’s time to reimagine the role, responsibilities, and presence of police in the everyday lives of communities that are heavily policed," Rose said. "Thousands of people across Massachusetts agree, and are taking to the streets in cities and streets across the Commonwealth to demand justice. We need bold policy changes that address structural racism and systemic inequality at the root of our policing institutions.”
(File photo: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)