Jan 30 2012

News Roundup (Jan. 23 – 29)

Dr. Q

Here are the stories I tracked this past week:

  • Carlos Miller reports that a warrant has been issued for Hector Nunez, the Haverhill resident who posted two videos of police visiting his home during the past few weeks. The warrant is for maintaining a noisy and disorderly house. As Carlos Miller points out, the warrant was probably issued in retaliation for Nunez posting videos of his police encounters online.
  • The Patriot Ledger reports that the trial of Weymouth Police Officer Steven Gomez has been postponed for a second time. Gomez was charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 after allegedly groping a female State Police employee at a Thanksgiving party in 2010. The trial was postponed due to scheduling conflicts with witnesses.
  • WBZ-TV reports that three guns have gone missing from the Chelsea District Court and are believed to be stolen. Kevin Murphy, the clerk magistrate, has been reassigned to the Salem District Court while the State Police investigate to determine what happened to the guns.
  • The Chelsea Record reports that a man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Chelsea police alleging that he was arrested for taking photographs at his son’s soccer game. After a boy was injured by a falling goalpost, Rodrigo Blanco, a professional photographer, a few pictures to document the incident. Police allegedly ordered him to delete the photos and arrested him when he refused.
  • Finally, earlier this week, I posted the report of the internal investigation of a UMass Lowell police officer who threatened to assault a student for video recording him. Make sure you check it out here.

Jan 23 2012

News Roundup (Jan 16 – 22)

Dr. Q

Here are the stories I tracked this past week:

  • Carlos Miller reports that Hector Nunez, the man from the Haverhill who uploaded the video that was recently featured on this site, received another visit from the police. You can see his video of this second visit here:

  • The Cape Cod Times reports that Somerville police officer Ariel Colazzo and Cambridge police officer Christopher Borum are both facing assault and battery charges after allegedly beating a DJ at a convention for drug officers. The DJ alleges that he was beat by at least six police officers, but has had trouble identifying them.
  • Boston.com reports that the Boston Police department has fired an officer for excessive force and lying during an investigation. Officer David C. Williams was fired for tackling and using a chokehold on a corrections officer who recorded him during a traffic stop. Williams had been fired in 1998 for beating an undercover police officer, but was reinstated in 2005 after successfully appealing his firing. He plans to try to get his job back for a second time using an arbitration process.
  • The Connecticut Post and Associated Press report that Dr. Frank Evangelista, Connecticut’s associate state medical examiner, is on trial for perjury in Massachusetts. Evangelista is accused of presenting conflicting testimony in two related murder trials while he was a medical examiner in Massachusetts. Evangelista was indicted in Plymouth County but will be prosecuted by the Bristol County DA’s office to avoid a conflict of interest.
  • NECN reports that a Weymouth police dispatcher is on trial for pulling a gun on two teenagers and threatening them in a parking lot outside her apartment while off-duty. The dispatcher, Kristen Hart, claims she believed the two teens were burglarizing cars. In fact, one of the teens lived in the apartment building and the second was visiting.
  • The Republican reports that a male pedestrian was hit by a Holyoke police cruiser. Police have yet to identify the officer who hit the pedestrian, but say they are investigating the incident.
  • The Daily Items reports that a state police officer who was arrested in Saugus last year was found guilty of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, but avoided a OUI conviction. The Clerk Magistrate said that there wasn’t enough evidence for the OUI charge partly because the arresting officer didn’t perform a sobriety test at the time of arrest. You can read an old post I wrote about this case I here.
  • Boston.com reports that the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld million dollar judgments in favor of families of victims of gangster “Whitey” Bulger. The Court found the federal government liable for the deaths due to the FBI’s corrupt relationship with Bulger.

Jan 16 2012

News Roundup (Jan. 9 – 15)

Dr. Q

Here are the stories I tracked this past week:

  • Ars Technica reports that the Boston Police Department has finally admitted that the police officers who arrested Simon Glik in 2007 were wrong to do so. Glik was arrested and charged with “wiretapping” and several other charges after he recorded police officers making an arrest on the Boston Common. He is currently suing the city for violating his civil rights. The police officers who arrested Glik may now face discipline ranging from an oral reprimand to a suspension. They should, of course, be fired.
  • Carlos Miller, who writes the Photography is Not a Crime blog, has some more information about the Haverhill video I posted last week. You can read his article here.
  • The MetroWest Daily News reports that Val Krishtal, the Framingham police officer who arrested Onyango Obama, Barack Obama’s Kenyan uncle, earlier this for an alleged DUI has been involved in 16 on-duty car accidents. He was at fault for at least 9 of the accidents. I find it pretty outrageous that this man is still employed as a police officer. Imagine how much money his laundry list of accidents have cost taxpayers. Furthermore, how can someone with a driving record like that be permitted to stop others for alleged driving offenses?
  • The Republican reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office are investigating West Springfield police captain Daniel O’Brien for alleged civil rights violations and brutality.
  • Wired reports that a TSA Air Marshall was arrested by the Boston Police after stealing an Occupy Boston protester’s phone and assaulting her, presumably because he was angry that she was recording him with the phone. The arrest took place shortly before police shut down an Occupy Boston encampment.

Also, I want to wish everyone a happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Make sure you check out this post I wrote for Cop Block for last year’s MLK Day.


Jan 9 2012

News Roundup for the New Year

Dr. Q

As I said toward the end of last year, I will now be posting weekly news roundups. Instead of trying to write detailed articles about every police misconduct and police accountability-related story I come across, I will post links on the Massachusetts Cop Block Facebook and Twitter pages and make a weekly post that includes brief summaries of all the stories I found during the past week. Currently, I plan to post a news roundup every Monday.

First, here are a few stories from late last year:

  • The Lowell Sun reports that Vesna Nuon, who was just elected to the Lowell City Council, accepted a $50,000 settlement from the city. Nuon was suing the city over a 2008 incident in which Lowell Police Officer Brian Kinney allegedly arrested him on a bogus “disorderly conduct” charge after he threatened to call Kinney’s supervisor and complain about his unprofessional behavior. As part of the settlement, Kinney must also apologize to Nuon.
  • WGGB-TV reports that Spingfield Police Officer Rafael Nazario has been charged with rape and indecent assault and battery after allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman.
  • The Sun Chronicle reports that cocaine and other drugs have gone missing from the Attleboro Police Department’s evidence room. Police Chief Kyle Heagney said he suspects that a cop is responsible and has launched an investigation. The Boston Herald reports that Heagney wishes he could drug test the officers in his department, but their union contract bars him from doing so.

And here the the first Massachusetts police misconduct and police accountability-related stories of the new year:

  • The Boston Herald reports that state trooper John Bergeron shot a woman while hunting. The state police have described the incident as an accident, but Environmental Police are still investigating.
  • WBZ-TV reports that Charlton police terrified a 5-year-old girl when they sent an officer to collect her overdue library books. Seems like a colossal overreaction, not to mention a waste of police resources. As one person who shared the story with me sarcastically commented, “All other crimes have been solved!”
  • The Boston Herald reports that the FBI has arrested state police officer John M. Analetto on extortion charges. Analetto has been accused of lending an FBI informant money in exchange for a piece of his business and threatening to murder the informant multiple times.
  • Boston.com reports that black box data disclosed by the state police shows Lt. Governor Tim Murray was driving 100 MPH and not wearing his seatbelt when he totaled his taxpayer-funded car during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Both Murray and the state police previously said accident was caused by black ice, but the release of the black box data have forced them to revise their story. They both now claim that Murray probably fell asleep at the wheel. Previously, the state police refused to release the black box data to the public even though they are required to by the Massachusetts Public Records Law, however, they finally released the data when Murray asked them to. Murray will be issued a $555 traffic citation.
  • The Cape Cod Times reports that a judge ruled that Sandwich police violated a teen football player’s rights when they interrogated him without offering to record the interrogation.
  • The Enterprise reports that former Brockton police lieutenant Charles Lincoln has been jailed for failing to make alimony payments to his ex-wife. Lincoln, now retired, became infamous when he called out sick more than 100 times in three years so he could work a second job as the head of a county jail and amass a huge pension. Lincoln has collected his $140,000 a year pension at taxpayer expense since 2004.
  • Lastly, a man uploaded a YouTube video a few days ago which apparently depicts Haverhill police searching his home. The man frantically tells the camera that the police have entered his home without cause and assaulted him. At the end of the video, the police notice they are on camera and threaten to arrest the man for recording him. While I can’t confirm the man’s version of events, I will say that police have no right to arrest people for openly recording them. This man may want to consult a lawyer.

Remember, if you have a story or question you’d like to share with Massachusetts Cop Block, drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or send us a message using our contact page.