WGBH covers our lawsuit against Foxboro

Listen or read the transcript of this radio news piece by WGBH, which discusses our firm’s lawsuit challenging the Town of Foxboro’s practice of improperly taking people into protective custody at Gillette Stadium events. Our case alleges that the Foxboro police unconstitutionally take people into protective custody for merely showing signs of being under the influence of alcohol, instead of being “incapacitated” by alcohol as the law requires. Each of our clients was grabbed by a police officer, placed into handcuffs, and put in a holding cage for hours as they were entering Gillette Stadium to attend a concert. They had all been drinking, but they were able to take care of themselves, they were not acting in a disorderly manner, and they did not pose a danger to themselves or others.

The lawyer for the Town of Foxboro and Police Chief Edward O’Leary stated to WGBH that the number of people being placed into protective custody may seem like a lot, but that it is actually not a large amount considering the size of the events. In fact, Chief O’Leary has admitted that Foxboro takes more people into protective custody than do police at similar venues around the country. From September 2009 to January 2013, Foxboro took approximately 2,953 people into custody at Gillette Stadium events. By comparison, during a slightly longer period, Boston police officers took only 163 people into protective custody in the entire City of Boston.

The case will be in court later this month for oral argument on motions for summary judgment filed by both sides. This is an important hearing at which the judge will consider whether the case should go to trial. We encourage people who can make it to attend. It is on August 20, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., in Courtroom 1 at the federal courthouse in Boston.

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