Cops blast DA after Straight Pride protest case tossed
The Supreme Judicial Court sided with the DA on Monday after a judge shot down several attempts by the progressive DA last week to dismiss charges of disorderly conduct against protesters
By Sean Philip Cotter
BOSTON — The Boston Police union is slamming Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ successful push to toss cases of disorderly conduct against anti-Straight Pride protesters, saying it gives troublemakers a pass on situations that can lead to “serious violence.”
“It only puts more police officers in danger,” said Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association Vice President Larry Calderone. “It allows them to act in a chaotic manner — it allows them to have in their mind that they can resist arrest.”
The Supreme Judicial Court sided with Rollins on Monday after a judge in Boston Municipal Court shot down several attempts by the progressive DA last week to dismiss charges of disorderly conduct against protesters.
Calderone told the Herald he’s glad Rollins has given every indication she plans to continue with the higher charges against people accused of assaulting cops. But he said the charges Rollins is giving people a pass on reflect behavior that can turn dangerous quickly.
“When you get a whole group of people acting disorderly, that’s when things can really escalate and people can get hurt,” Calderone said. “Those are all instances where it could arise to serious violence.”
Cops arrested 36 people at the Straight Pride Parade on Aug. 31. Nine were charged with assaulting cops. Most faced charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Gov. Charlie Baker voiced strong support for the cops and their handling of a “very difficult situation” at the Straight Pride Parade protest.
“People who assault police officers, people who assault other people simply because they have a different point of view on something, ought to at least, if they get arrested, have a day in court,” Baker said. He emphasized his respect for the right to protest, and noted “there are still a number of folks who were involved in that protest who are going to be before a judge and for whom the prosecutor’s office has agreed to prosecute.”
Mayor Martin Walsh’s office declined to comment, referring to a statement by Police Commissioner William Gross, which read in part, “my officers … found themselves on the receiving end of an unending stream of verbal taunts, jeers, profanities, obscenities and physical assaults directed towards them throughout the course of the day.”
City Councilor Michelle Wu, who last week was highly critical of police anti-riot tactics, did not respond to a request for comment.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, a conservative who’s been confronted by left-wing protesters at his home, told the Herald that Rollins’ go-easy approach “undermines the ability for us to keep our communities safe …. Law enforcement needs to stand firm regardless of what she does and if it warrants an arrest, make the arrest.
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