Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Unlawful Stop, Two-For-One Edition

According to an article posted by the Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force:

On September 29, 2017, members of the Youth Violence Strike Force were on directed patrol in the area of Mercer Street in South Boston due to recent past shots fired and firearm related calls for service there. In particular, officers were given the description of a male and female on a scooter that had been seen fleeing the scene of one of the past incidents. As the officers conducted surveillance, they observed a male and a female riding together on a scooter fitting the suspects’ descriptions. Officers followed the scooter out of Southie toward Dorchester and, after observing several red light violations, attempted to conduct a stop of the vehicle and its occupants. The operator of the scooter refused to stop and ultimately made good his escape.

The officers returned to the area of Mercer Street and at about 10:35 PM again observed the same suspects on the scooter. The officers again attempted to make a stop of the vehicle to no avail, until the vehicle traveled down Hillsboro Street, a dead end. The male dropped the scooter and fled on foot. During the foot pursuit, the officer observed the suspect reach into his waistband, pull out a firearm, and discard it near a fence on Hillsboro Street. The officers were eventually able to catch up to the suspect, and after a brief physical struggle, placed him into custody. Officers retraced their steps to the location where they observed the suspect discard the firearm and located a loaded .40 caliber Glock 22. Further investigation also revealed that the scooter the suspects had been riding was reported stolen earlier that day.

The driver of the scooter was charged with Failure to Stop for a Police Officer, Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Unlawfully Carrying a Loaded Firearm. 

Sometimes it seems like the Youth Violence Strike Force in Boston goes out of their way to make illegal stops.  In this case, they stopped two people for no reason other than the fact that they were riding a scooter in the wrong part of town. Twice. They don't say the two people looked like the past shooters, or that the scooter itself was involved in the past shooting, and they even go out of their way to point out that they didn't know the scooter was stolen until after they stopped its driver and passenger ("Further investigation also revealed that the scooter the suspects had been riding was reported stolen"). Yes, the article says they saw the same two people leave the scene and then return, but there's no evidence it was the same people in both cases except the officer's testimony.

People of South Boston, you all just lost your right to ride a scooter. Direct your complaints to BPD.