Boston Police Department rewards officers accused of misconduct

Several Boston police officers who were accused of police brutality in high-profile cases have been awarded medals for their actions. This story first broke last month in the Blackstonian, and this month was in the Phoenix. One of the awarded officers is Michael T. McManus, who can be seen throwing punches and knee strikes in the video of the Roxbury Community College beating.

McManus was also involved in the death of David Woodman. David Woodman was a twenty-two-year-old man who was walking home from the Fenway Park area after the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008. As David passed a group of police officers, including McManus, he was arrested for carrying an open container of beer. Witnesses reported that police officers slammed David to the ground. David was held by the police until emergency medical technicians arrived. When the EMTs arrived, David was not breathing, he had no pulse, and his body was blue and cold. He suffered a cardiac arrhythmia and brain damage. David died at the hospital 11 days later. We negotiated a $3 million settlement for the family of David Woodman, without filing a lawsuit.

The recipient of the Medal of Honor was officer Brian Dunford, who was involved in the 2008 beating of Boston Firefighter Wayne Abron. Two of the other officers who were given medals, Christopher R. Carr and Kenneth R. Autio, were involved in the shooting of Mark McMullen in 2011. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have rallied to support McMullen’s family and demand an inquest into his death.

Despite the public outrage over these high-profile cases of police brutality, these officers were not punished. Instead the police department gave them awards. This sends the wrong message to Boston police officers.

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