Tag Archives: boston

NYC to Boston, Thousands Protest Across the Country in Solidarity with Baltimore

Washington D.C.- Thousands of protesters took to the streets of New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and of course in Baltimore, Wednesday evening. Those coming out rallied in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and the family of Freddie Gray.

Ben Swann talks with Marina Portnaya live from the scene and gives updates on the arrests made by the NYPD as protestors stood in the streets in an act of civil disobedience.

One officer was injured during the demonstrations in New York City when a bottle struck him on the chin, the police said. In all, just over 100 people were arrested.

Some protesters stopped traffic on Houston Street in Lower Manhattan while others blocked the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. Another group marched uptown to Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen, where, later in the night, a police van filled with marchers who had been arrested sat idling in traffic.

On Thursday, some of the protest organizers criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William J. Bratton for what they called a heavy-handed response.

In Boston, hundreds marched through the streets chanting, “Being black is not a crime, same story every time,” and “every night and every day. Join the fight for Freddie Gray!” Students linked arms, and families peered curiously out of low income housing along Shawmut Avenue.

Off-Duty Boston Police Officer Allegedly Attacks Uber Driver Then Steals His Car

Officer Michael Doherty was placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested on Sunday on charges of assault, battery, and using a motor vehicle without authority. According to DigBoston, the veteran cop, who has worked for the Boston Police Department for 16 years, ordered a ride home from the rideshare service Uber, then, upon arriving at what the officer believed was the wrong destination, attacked the driver, forcing him from the vehicle, and stole his car. Officer Doherty reportedly used racial slurs against both the Uber driver and a witness to the incident. The above-embedded video coverage by WCVB Channel 5 Boston notes that Doherty is set to be arraigned on Monday.

A Boston Police Department statement sourced by The Boston Globe indicates that an Uber driver called police at 2:45 AM on Sunday to report that he had been beaten by a passenger and that his car had been stolen. Allegedly, as the Uber driver pulled up to what he believed was the passenger’s final destination, the passenger became angry and claimed that the driver had taken him to the wrong location. The passenger, whom police later determined was Officer Doherty, told the driver, “What, you think I’m stupid, you [expletives deleted],” referring to him with a racial slur against Latinos. The off-duty Boston cop then began beating the Uber driver, causing him to flee his vehicle. The altercation escalated outside the car, as Doherty chased the victim and continued his assault.

The victim flagged down a nearby driver who stopped to help. Officer Doherty then reportedly jumped into the driver’s seat of the Uber driver’s car and fled the scene. The witness who stopped to help the victim then gave the victim a ride and followed Officer Doherty, who eventually exited the Uber driver’s vehicle and turned to confront his two pursuers. Noticing the witness, an African American, who had stopped to help his victim, Doherty reportedly said, “What do you want, you [expletives deleted],” referring to him with the n-word. Doherty then continued his attack on the Uber driver as the witness struggled to stop him. According to BostInno, Massachusetts Port Authority police officers arrived on the scene, and, upon seeing them, Officer Doherty stopped his attack and fled on foot.

Doherty was later picked up and arrested by Boston police. Uber issued a statement about the incident, which said, “Our thoughts are with our valued partner during his recovery… We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation.” Uber says it has blocked Doherty from using its service in the future.

State Awarded “Permanent” Custody Of Justina Pelletier

We have been closely following the story of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, who was taken custody of Boston Children’s Hospital for over one year against her parents’ will. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Justina will remain in the “permanent” custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Matt Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, said of the order, “This is just completely unacceptable. The family asked us to pursue any other opportunities and appeals. The family is beyond fed-up.”

Justina’s parents, Lou and Linda, have been fighting to get their daughter back home ever since the hospital initially took custody of her in February 2013. Years ago doctors diagnosed Justina with mitochondrial disease, which causes loss of muscle control. Despite this diagnosis, Justina was able to live a happy and relatively normal life with her family in Connecticut.

During a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital during February 2013, doctors claimed that the teen has somatoform disorder, not mitochondrial disease. Somatoform disorder is a mental disorder — not a physical one, like mitochondrial disease.

The hospital ordered that Justina be taken off all of her mitochondrial and pain medication. Lou and Linda did not think this was the best plan of action and wanted to bring their daughter home. Officials would not allow that. The parents were subsequently escorted out of the hospital by security personnel. Only four days later, they found out they had lost custody of their daughter due to “both parents’ resistance towards recommended treatment plans” and “overmedicalizing” the girl.

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Lou and Linda have been pursuing legal action for over one year to regain custody of their daughter. They remain heartbroken and furious.

Dr. Mark Korson of Tufts Medical Center was one of Justina’s prior physicians. In an email, he said, “I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The (Boston Children’s Hospital) team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch.”

Lou said the longer Justina stays in the custody of Boston Children’s Hospital, the worse her condition gets. A year ago, Justina was competing in figure skating competitions — now, she is paralyzed from the waist down and is not receiving any schooling. Two weeks ago, the girl was rushed to the emergency after visiting family members noticed marks on her stomach. Even more recently, her legs became swollen and she lost feeling in her feet.

Following Tuesday’s order, Staver said, “A child’s health and welfare are hanging in the balance. We cannot continue to withhold treatment from this young girl. DCF has abused its authority. DCF had no right to come between Justina and medical care.”

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, a spokesman for the Pelletiers, said the parents “are crushed and heartbroken to see their daughter violated like this. They are rightfully worried for her safety.”

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Massachusetts Breaks Silence About Justina Pelletier, Drops Gag Order Against Father

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BenSwann.com has been closely following the story of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, who has been in the custody of Boston Children’s Hospital for over one year against her parents’ will. Earlier today, the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) broke its silence on what is now a highly-publicized case.

Earlier this week, a Suffolk County judge ruled  that Justina be moved out of a medical facility and put into a foster home.

Justina’s parents, Lou and Linda, have been fighting to get their daughter back home ever since the hospital initially took custody of her last February. Years ago doctors diagnosed Justina with mitochondrial disease, which causes loss of muscle control. Despite this diagnosis, Justina was able to live a happy and relatively normal life with her family in Connecticut.

During a visit to Boston Children’s Hospital during February 2013, doctors claimed that the teen has somatoform disorder, not mitochondrial disease. Somatoform disorder is a mental disorder — not a physical one, like mitochondrial disease.

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The hospital ordered that Justina be taken off all of her mitochondrial and pain medication. Lou and Linda did not think this was the best plan of action and wanted to bring their daughter home. Officials would not allow that. The parents were subsequently escorted out of the hospital by security personnel. Only four days later, they found out they had lost custody of their daughter due to “both parents’ resistance towards recommended treatment plans” and “overmedicalizing” the girl. They remain heartbroken and furious.

Lou and Linda were both incredibly emotional following the hearing this week.

Today the state spoke out on Justina’s situation. Massachusetts DCF spokesman, Alec Loftus said, “Our primary goal has always been the health and well-being of Justina. We want the parents to be able to work with the providers and courts to ultimately move Justina back to her home state of Connecticut. That is the objective, and is consistent with our previous efforts to find an appropriate placement near her home. A medical team has been identified at Tufts, the family’s provider of choice, with the clinical expertise to care for Justina.”

While this sounds like positive news for Lou and Linda, the parents are not very hopeful.

Lou told The Blaze, “They have thrown more carrots out there over the last 13 months, dangling, teasing us, and that’s the cruelest thing you can do.” He claimed the state has made several broken promises regarding the Justina’s custody in the past. “Actions speak louder than words,” he said.

On the bright side, however, there will no longer be a March 24 hearing to determine whether or not Lou violated the judge’s gag order when he spoke out to the media earlier this month. The motion to hold him in contempt of court was dropped.

The next court hearing, when Justina’s custody status will be further discussed, is set for March 17.

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Boston Mayor Institutes Gun Buyback, Wants To “Find Out Who Has These Guns”

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Boston’s new mayor, Marty Walsh, may have officially cemented his reputation as being “anti-gun.”

Following an accidental shooting of a 9-year-old last week, Walsh voiced his support for a sweeping, large-scale “gun buyback. ” He said, “I’m working with the commissioner a little bit now to come up with how we’re going to formulate the gun buyback program. The message for me is clear. We need help from the community, we need help from people to let us know where these guns are, who has these guns, who are bringing these guns in, so we can get them off the street.”

It is easy to surmise that by saying this, Walsh was encouraging Boston citizens to report their neighbors suspected of owning unregistered guns.

Walsh continued, “National gun reform is important. Most of these guns are coming from out-of-state states that don’t have tough gun laws. We’re simply asking people to register their guns — that’s it.”

Those who oppose Walsh’s suggestion point out that wide-spread confiscations have occurred in many countries with mandatory gun registration.

What are your thoughts on Walsh’s proposals — are they common sense, or will they only serve as a tool to infringe on the rights of American citizens?

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Hospital Holds Teen For 9 Months, Won’t Let Parents Take Her Home

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Boston’s Children’s Hospital has taken custody of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier, against her parents’ will. The teen has been there for nine months now.

Years ago, doctors diagnosed Justina with mitochondrial disease, which causes loss of muscle control. Despite this diagnosis, Justina was able to live a happy, and relatively normal life with her family in Connecticut. She was very active and enjoyed various sports such as ice skating.

When she got the flu last February, she was taken to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Justina hasn’t left since.

Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital claimed that Justina has somatoform disorder, not mitochondrial disease. Somatoform disorder is a mental disorder — not a physical one, like mitochondrial disease.

After this diagnosis was made, the girl’s parents wanted to bring their daughter home — but officials would not allow that. Lou and Linda Pelletier were escorted out of the hospital by security personnel.

Only four days later, they found out they had lost custody of their daughter due to “both parents’ resistance towards recommended treatment plans.” They are heartbroken and furious.

“It is kidnapping,” Lou Pelletier said.

Lou and Linda insist that they were never “resistant” towards treatment for Justina. They had closely followed medical procedures and medication dosages for their daughter, as recommended by her physicians.

Dr. Mark Korson of Tufts Medical Center was one of Justina’s prior physicians. In an email, he said, “I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The (Boston Children’s Hospital) team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch.”

During her nine months at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Justina has been sending letters to her parents, hidden in origami artwork. One of her notes said, “I know you trust in me. Don’t forget it. I love you more than everything in the whole world. Justina.”

According to FOXCT, The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has set guidelines for Justina’s parents, dictating when they can and cannot see their daughter. Currently, the parents are allowed two short phone calls and one hour-long visit per week.

Justina’s parents say they will continue fighting to regain custody of their child.

“Hospitals, be it this scenario or big picture, cannot just hide behind DCF to do their dirty work. It’s beyond any wildest nightmare that you could think of,” Lou said.

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