Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alderman explains why he videotaped his constituent on street in underwear

Yesterday I posted the police report about Alderman Jeffrey Boyd (St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay's favorite black alderman) videotaping a constituent who was standing in the street in the middle of the night wearing nothing but his underwear.

This is the statement Boyd sent in response. Andre Williams, the other person described by police as a "bystander" videotaping this humiliating incident, also is an elected official. He is the 22nd Ward committeeman.

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Alderman Jeffrey Boyd's story:
On the night of April 16, 2010, I was parked in front of 5891 Martin Luther King Dr at approximately11:35 pm with my friend Andre Williams. This location is 5 doors from my office and next door to Mr. Williams’s restaurant. A few minutes later we observed an individual in underwear and socks in the middle of the intersection, when seconds later a police car arrived.

We observed the officers attempting to communicate with the half clothed gentlemen when I decided to videotape the interactions of the police officers and the gentleman. I was curious as to how they would handle this situation.

While standing on the sidewalk, an officer requested that I turn off my video phone. I complied; however rethought his request and decided that maybe I should be videotaping the incident. I attempted to videotape again when the officer demanded that I put the phone back into my pocket. Again I complied; however I asked the officer if I was doing anything illegal. He stated that I was interfering because he was standing next to me and not involved in the incident.

This was puzzling. I continued to ask the question in what way was I interfering when another officer tackled me from behind and handcuffed me. I told him that I was the Alderman. The officer escorted me to the back seat of the police car where I sat for approximately 30 minutes. He was heard verbally saying “this is your F’ing alderman. This is what is representing you”.

I was never told why I was being handcuffed or read any Miranda Rights. I feel that any citizen has the right to video tape any incident that involves the police. The police have no authority to violate the rights of citizens.

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I am trying to make sense of this incident for tomorrow's St. Louis American. I do know one thing. If (God forbid) I ever lose my senses, and I am found nearly naked in the street by an elected official, I hope he does more to help me than to videotape my shame out of "curiosity".

And if the police trying to help me tell this elected official to get out of the way, I would hope he would get out of the way and not attempt to flex his aldermanic muscles.

3 comments:

ribkaw said...

I am totally confused by the obvious bias reporting of this incident. First there is no suggestion that the "officer" was trying to help the man in his underware. Boyd had every right to video the officer as more citizens should be doing.

The officer's derogatory statement about the man's f-ing alderperson was totally out of character for a public servant. Boyd was right, the officer even if he's Slay's favorite "Black" alderman and should be penalized.

Papillon said...

It is unclear what the police were doing. It is impossible to tell from the letter. For me, I wouldn't mind someone looking out for my best interest in videotaping the incident. If something goes wrong, it is on the record.

The police should know how to effect a 'good' outcome from the bad circumstances. I don't know what the Alderman could do that the police could not do in effecting a 'good' outcome.

To me, whenever anyone doesn't want their actions recorded, it is to cover their arse.

Confluence City said...

Follow the link to the police report (click on that phrase) for much more information. This post follows that and relies upon the previous post for context. The police were in fact being helpful. Boyd himself told me the cops were treating the individual respectfully. By Boyd's own account, his only motive was curiosity. A first responder trying to defuse a bad situation for a deranged person might be justified in expecting a merely curious person to get out of the way and let them do their work. I think Boyd's behavior was shameful.