Reposted from WGBH Boston:
A group of Watertown residents met to vent frustration over what some described as heavy-handed local police and FBI tactics during the search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and community lockdown last April.
The meeting at Watertown’s First Parish Church was a stark departure from previous gatherings in this community relative to the marathon bombing manhunt and shootout. Previous mass meetings here have been largely supportive of the police actions on the night of April 19 of last year. But among the 50 or so present at this latest gathering, most were critical of the police and government response. These were some of the voices heard over the course of two hours.
“Had they been competent when they began the lockdown, they would have gone down Franklin Street all the way — Franklin Street is an L-shaped street — apparently one of the SWAT teams only went down one half of the L,” said one resident.
“Three black tanks and guys in black and three big guns out in front of my house, and I was more scared of them than I was of anything that was going on in the neighborhood,” said another, while yet another responded, “Hear, hear.” “I just don’t understand what happened and why all of us had to go through so much. There are a lot of children.”
“One thing that’s really amplified to me here tonight, is that the FBI can come into any community in the United States — a four-square-mile community like Watertown — and take complete command and control over the local police,” said another.
The community meeting was sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive legal organization, which has held three previous meetings focused on questions about alleged constitutional violations during the Marathon bombing siege, and within the larger context of the Patriot Act in the post-9/11 era.
“Really, the purpose of this meeting is to make sure the people who felt that they didn’t have positive experiences with the police had a safe place to voice their concerns,” said attorney Benjamin Falkner, a member of the National Lawyers Guild. “I think it’s fair that a lot of the people were perfectly happy with what happened, but there are some that weren’t, and I think there was a good, strong sense that right in the aftermath of what happened with the Boston Marathon bombing, if you had a problem with that, you really weren’t to be voicing that concern in public.”
Some of these concerns have been voiced aloud to local police officials. Watertown police chief Ed Deveau said last fall that his force was studying the actions of law enforcement during that period and trying to learn from them.
“I know that the state is in the process of putting together the beginnings of an after-action report, so we can look at that and have it professionally looked at,” he said. “And I promised the residents of Watertown that we’ll do a real, serious look at ourselves and everything that happened here, to make sure what went right, what went wrong, and what we can learn from that.”
That was six months ago, and a comprehensive report about what went right and what went wrong has yet to be released.
Meanwhile, four Watertown residents in attendance at the Lawyers Guild community meeting alleged that they have been under pressure from local police and other residents to keep their criticisms to themselves. WGBH News will follow up this story in the coming days and we are requesting a response from the Watertown police to these and other complaints made by residents at that meeting.
When we will get to see the video / picture of the brother(s) placing the bomb on the sidewalk? NEVER, because it isn’t there…otherwise what is “classified” about it? And why has the FBI not explained why “…inflicting 13 gunshot wounds and multiple hematomas on his [Ibragim Todashev, a “suspect” killed under questioning by FBI] body…” including a head shot not constitute a criminal suit? (See Ibragim Todashev’s Photos). Why did the police fire over 100 rounds into the boat that the younger brother was in until the media made it known they were getting ready to film? Because this is not what it seemed, and some in the Boston public are beginning to understand that now…
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