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“I want to hit this kid!” Bodycam footage shows Boston PD gleefully beating peaceful protestors

“I want to hit this kid!” Bodycam footage shows Boston PD gleefully beating peaceful protestors

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While Donald Trump and the right-wing propaganda machine have howled nonstop about the imaginary violence of “antifa” and Black Lives Matter activists — who they smear as “thugs” and “terrorists” — the body-camera footage from police officers makes it clear who the real goons are.

Analysis of 66 hours of bodycam film confirms what anyone present at the protests over the murder of George Floyd already knew: that police officers reveled in inflicting violence on the protestors and did so with a vindictive enthusiasm.

Attorney Carl Williams, who obtained the footage to help his protester clients clear their names, was horrified by what he saw. “It’s this mob mentality. And I use ‘mob’ as a sort of a double entendre—mob like the mafia and mob like a group of a pack of wild people roaming the streets looking to attack people,” said Williams to the Appeal. “This is not law enforcement. That’s not what they’re doing right there in the streets, ganging up on people using weaponry…and they’re enjoying it.”

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Far from being “officers of the peace,” these jackbooted thugs were recorded bragging to each other about using excessive force and deliberately targeting nonviolent protestors. One video shows an officer using his baton to smack down a woman before immediately knocking a man off a motorcycle. “Let’s get this fucker!” screams one.


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One video shows a police officer bragging about using his patrol car to hit protesters.

The footage has provoked outrage from legislators and city officials.

This is the exact kind of appallingly violent police behavior that we have seen all over the country in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, and it highlights the fundamental contradiction within Democratic efforts to appease civil rights activists and avoid being tarred as “weak on crime” by Republicans: the middle road of “reforming” the police is a nonstarter because the police have made it clear that they do not want to be reformed and have no intention of changing anything.

If the Democratic Mayor of Boston and the Democratic City Council of Boston truly mean their flowery rhetoric that Black Lives Matter, they need to think long and hard about fundamental changes they can make to the institution of policing in Boston, because these videos show that the institutional culture of the police is deeply rooted in fascist violence.

Original reporting by Eoin Higgins at the Appeal.

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Colin Taylor
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.

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