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Won't get fooled again?

“Overall, the response to the Boston Marathon bombings must be considered a great success,” the official after-action report opines. Yes, well, as we reported back in the day, no. The decision to put the whole city in lockdown, turning Beantown into a ghost town filled with militarized police was beyond ludicrous. It was frightening. The new report gives us a closer look at the cluster-you-know-what that was the police’s ballistic response to the bombers. The AP summarize the findings in that regard, citing a “lack of gun discipline” . . .

A transit police officer, Richard Donohue, was critically wounded in the initial confrontation with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev on a Watertown street April 19, 2013. The report doesn’t say whether Donohue was shot by fellow officers. [ED: on that I’d bet the farm.]

The report also reveals that shortly after the shootout, which led to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death, an officer near the scene fired on an unmarked state police vehicle after it was mistakenly reported as stolen. A state trooper and a Boston police officer in the vehicle weren’t injured.

Later in the day, when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered wounded and hiding in a boat, a police officer “fired his weapon without appropriate authority,” causing many other officers to believe the bomber was firing at them and leading them to open fire on the boat, according to the report . . .

“Although initial responding officers practiced appropriate weapons discipline while they were engaged in the firefight with the suspects, additional officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target,” or appropriately aiming their guns, the report said.

“Officers lining both sides of the street also fired upon the second suspect as he fled the scene in a vehicle,” the report went on to state. A timeline of events listed in the report noted that the transit officer was shot as the surviving suspect fled.

The report doesn’t name any of the officers from several agencies and jurisdictions that were involved in the Watertown incidents.

Transparency? Accountability? Nope. No one’s being held responsible for the post-bombing chaos. Which doesn’t bode well for future attacks.

Clearly, Boston, Bay State cops and the feds need a root-and-branch overhaul of their emergency response command structure. A whole bunch of firearms training wouldn’t go amiss either (unlike the bullets fired by sleep-deprived, gung-ho cops). The report’s authors agree. sums-up their recommendations:

• Better discipline from officers on when to fire their weapons. The report found no weapons discipline from the slew of officers responding to the various crime scenes during the four-day manhunt. During the shootout with both suspects, the report found, the officers who responded initially reacted appropriately, but additional officers who arrived later fired toward the vicinity of the suspects without properly aiming their weapons . . .

• Better coordination among law enforcement agencies. The report found that more than 2,500 officers converged on Watertown, a Boston suburb, in the days after the bombing looking for the suspects. The report described a free-for-all of officers, who self-deployed to the towns where the suspects were spotted, including the suburb of Watertown, where shootout with the two suspects occurred and later Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found. The report found there was no command or management structure to manage what the officers were doing.

“This caused logistical issues, command and control issues, and officer safety issues,” the report said.

• The creation of a Joint Information Center to coordinate all the agencies working together and better communicate to the media and the public. The report found the release of public information was less coordinated in the days following the bombing, which led to conflicting information being released from different agencies.

The truth about the police response to the Marathon bombers was more-or-less chronicled in Harvard White Paper: Why Was Boston Strong? Lessons from the Boston Marathon Bombing. Reading both reports one can easily conclude that Boston police and emergency responders couldn’t get out of their own way. Literally.

[h/t SS, Ralph]

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  1. Shannon and Mayor Michael’s takeaway message? Coming to a Moms Want Some Action FBook page near you?

    “If highly trained law enforcement professionals can have a “bad day” just imagine the carnage from armed ignorant peasants on our streets….”

      • Yes. “Highly trained” in regards to firearms and most police officers would be a contradiction in terms. I don’t know why people exited their homes with arms up or any of the rest of that b.s. Makes me cringe when I see a gang of thugs trampling on the people.

        • Because people who didn’t capitulate with the demands of the police got their doors kicked in, and then promptly dragged out by their hair with guns in their faces?

          I’m not making any excuses for law enforcement, but I can understand how most citizens in their homes probably didn’t think they had an alternative to cooperation.

    • Most LE is “highly trained” in filling out paperwork and issuing commands to unarmed citizens who pay their salary. Keeping themselves under control when faced with an armed killer who they believe is shooting at them, not so much.

    • I’ll agree mostly, but disagree insofar as they do remember some things, but they’re usually the wrong things. For example, the government and bureaucrats have such an anti freedom, anti conservative mindset, that they view any scrap of evidence through that prejudiced prism.

      For example, someone’s going around sniping at federal workers? Must be an anti government, angry white man! And so the investigation proceeds. Except….that’s not who the Maryland/D.C. snipers turned out to be.

      Bomb goes of at an international sporting event? Must be the fat, hero wannabe, cop never-gonna-be! And so the investigation proceeds. Except….that’s not who the Centennial Park bomber turned out to be.

      Toxic envelopes get mailed to various government officials? Must be a right winger with delusions of grandeur and a puffed up resume! And so the investigation proceeds. Except….that’s not who anthrax mailer turned out to be.

      In each of these cases, lives were ruined and crucial time was lost going down bad paths. Yet, the media and the authorities continue to approach these cases with the same mix of myths and misinformation each time. That’s life in the U.S. of Paramnesia.

      • Good points!

        It’s kin to the ongoing policy of approaching failing projects by doing even more of whatever it is that’s causing it to fail.

  2. Listening to the response, on a scanner, it was clear that the indians were in charge of the tribe and there was no plan other than to murder the suspect on sight. You had Boston PD trying to call the shots in Watertown, the MA State Police were up in the air talking to anyone willing to listen, and the Watertown PD was just watching all this play out. Oh, and everyone was ignoring the FBI who was on scene.

    • “Oh, and everyone was ignoring the FBI who was on scene…”

      So you’re saying they did something right, at least.

  3. I wonder what kind of repercussions the office who fired their weapon “without the proper authority” will face. I know if it was me, it would involve severe penalties, possibly jail time, and the loss of my 2a rights. But since it was a LEO, I’m going to assume the proper punishment is a stern talking to.

    Edit: Living in NY, I should probably refer to them as 2a privileges…

  4. It’s just a good thing cops are such lousy shots, otherwise more people might have been hurt.

  5. Be wary of an Organization patting itself on the back when all the technology failed to locate the brothers. Reaching out to the public for assistance then systematiclly shitting on their rights reveals just how sickening the police version of “serving & protecting” it’s citizens.

    The horror was not two nut jobs, but the complete lack of working with the public to apprehend amateur murders. A moment to unite the crew in blue charged with serving the public squandered.

  6. Well pilgrim,
    I was working for the military and as an added duty I was the emergency coordinator. An added duty at an airbase.
    Colonels and Generals are too busy polishing their or someone’s apple to attend emergency planning meetings or show up at a quarterly exercise but if anything else really happened, they were in charge. They don’t even know the lingo.
    Boston’s way ahead of the military.
    In real situations, for example when the Japanese attacked the Philippines, ground troops were told to not fire back at the Japanese because war had not been declared.
    DON’T expect our military response to be different today.

    Easiest targets today are military, not the troops but the leadership. No weapons, no ammo, blah, blah, blah.

  7. “The creation of a Joint Information Center to coordinate all the agencies working together and better communicate to the media and the public.”

    Because more and bigger bureaucracies are always the answer, right? Rather than, oh, I don’t know, cajoling the ones you already are stuck with into doing a better job of things.

  8. “but additional officers who arrived later fired toward the vicinity of the suspects without properly aiming their weapons . . .”

    That’s AKA suppressive fire. That’s how you make sure the civilians “shelter in place.”

    “This caused logistical issues, command and control issues, and officer safety issues,” the report said.

    Funny, no mention of civilian safety issues. Unfortunate collateral damage I guess.

    “the release of public information was less coordinated in the days following the bombing, which led to conflicting information being released from different agencies.”

    Possible lies and deliberate distortion of the facts ya think?

    Typical of a bunch of crazed Wyatt Earp syndrome types running around with adrenalin pumping. No one is safe including the responders. Lucky there wasn’t more fratricide or innocents killed. Sounds like a genuine cluster “F” to me.

  9. Even after multiple warrantless, unconstitutional house to house searches, with families being forced outside at gunpoint carrying crying children, the LE “Pack” mentality kicked into overdrive.

    They were turned loose in Beantown and the surrounding areas, free to forget any rights citizens had. Oh it was a jack-booted Gestapo heyday. Spray and pray shooting, and a subsequent parade of cheering citizens so thankful for MRAPS, Bearcats and the closet thing to Martial Law not seen since the Redcoats were there.

    And it was a homeowner who stepped out back to have a smoke, and noticed the shrinkwrap was cut on his boat, and notified the all to eager cops. They shot it up, impounded it as evidence. Wonder if he was reimbursed for his Swiss Cheese Boat?

  10. Question:

    I heard stories that the Police in Watertown completely forgot their oath to the Constitution, and there was rampant and systematic violations of civil rights. I heard stories of warrant less searches, families driven out of houses at gunpoint, and all sorts of police state/martial law shenanigans.

    Could someone give me some proof of this? Like from a “mainstream” news organization? Something to send on to my head-in-the-sand contacts.


    • As a civilian, he probably hits the range and fires more rounds in a year than your average street cop does in several years.

  11. Just look on YouTube for the house to house searching videos. Le goon squads emptying houses with residents at gunpoint. I am way more frightened by LE commandos acting like this than any terrorist you could dream up.

  12. As someone else pointed out previously, our militarized police have the military equipment, arms and attitude, but not the discipline or hard training of a real military unit. ( fire discipline anyone? or … every officer, regardless of how many are present, empty their magazine. ) Someone else, who was in the military, also pointed out that the rules of engagement they had to follow in Iraq and Afghanistan were stricter than those followed by police in our country.

    • +1,000
      A long time ago somebody commented here about conducting training exercises with a county SWAT team while he was in the Army National Guard. He made a point of how eerie it was hearing the SWAT guys use all the same military terminology while showing nowhere near the level of precision and professionalism as his ANG unit. The wannabe attitude went to the SWAT teams’ heads ages ago, and until they are held to the same level of accountability as the military, which actually throws people in jail on criminal charges, the situation will never improve.

      • Yeah, but they get to look all tactical and carry around all that neat kit. Surely, that’s got to make ’em pretty special? A friend goes to a gun-range frequented by several local SWAT teams. He says they’re the worst shots imaginable. Couldn’t hit the side of barn with a cannon.

        • You touched on another salient point that negates the Antis whole “but cops are trained” screed outright. When I show them statistics on the abysmal marksmanship qualification standards of the most well known police departments in the country, they freak out having never seen them before. Sure, there are cops who hone their marksmanship skills very often, and there are lazy concealed carriers who never practice. But those are anomalies. Nation wide, the average concealed carrier fires more rounds per range session more often than the average cop. What does this mean? That the antis don’t actually care about “training,” only the illusion of it. They just want to be protected by some uniformed government agent of one type or another; to be coddled by some higher authority because deep down, they know they’re too weak or afraid to defend and take care of themselves. Perhaps what I’m saying is a bit redundant, but I find points like these worthy of repetition.

      • Except that EVERYONE who’s ever been in the military believes NOBODY could ever demonstrate the same “precision and professionalism” as they do. *rolleyes


  13. Don’t let anyone tell you technology has made the anti-tyranny purpose of the RTKBA moot. Look what fools two idiots with a box of fireworks can make of the state’s best and brightest.

  14. This makes me wonder why we have the Posse Comitatus Act. There is no difference between a military force and a force of militarized law enforcement officers. In Boston, the government reacted with martial law without officially declaring martial law. I can write volumes on how the rule of law was thrown out the window in Boston, and how the rights of an entire city was ignored. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and I think history will pick up on it. I think history books will show that the response to the Boston bombings was a de facto declaration of martial law, and the “police” who responded represented a ragtag military force. Honest men/women would have come out from the very beginning and declared it martial law, but as we all know, we do not have honest men/women leading in these liberal enclaves.

    • +1

      Let’s also consider that like Obummer’s capo out in Chicago once said about a crisis never going to waste; this was likely turned at some point from chaos to an active “exercise” in how fast and completely the authorities could shut down a major city in response to whatever. Doubtless they’ve been going over what went wrong and right and will plan accordingly for the next crisis, also likely to be in a major city.

      Those British soldiers 240 years ago were pikers by comparison. But just as unprepared.

  15. I’ve now read the entire report.

    More than ever, I believe that cops should be disarmed and have all their toys taken from them. No more MRAP’s, no more robots, no more drones, no more helo’s.

    They get a Crown Vic with black sidewall tires for a vehicle.

    For guns, they will get a S&W Model 10 (in .38 Special, naturally), with two extra speed loaders for their sidearm, and I’d allow them to have a Ithica 37 for their shotgun.

    There will be only two uniforms – their standard police blues, and their dress uniforms for formal events. No more playing ninja-squirrel with tacti-kewl camo.

    That would reduce their enthusiasm to “self-deploy,” which is the euphemism used in the report for a bunch of yahoos rushing to “get some.”

    • Amen Mr. Gunsmith! Warrant-less searches, stop and frisk everyone, illegal martial law, armored cars, stun grenades (which start fires), fully automatic weapons, ACOGS, snipers, tactical military-style uniforms, gloves, boots, and helmets, laser sights, range finders, battering rams, chemical weapons, and FLIR-equipped helicopters. A real-life military force designed to combat uncooperative civilians. All the while a poorly-trained and unfit military force running on adrenalin, caffeinated coffee, and high-calorie dough nuts. With their fancy tacticool equipment, our indigenous troopers make Ernst Rohm’s Brown Shirts look like unarmed boy scouts in comparison. Being a military force, shouldn’t our homeland army also abide by the Hague Convention and give up their “dum-dum” bullets? The Posse Comitatus Act needs to be amended for our current situation for God’s sake! Imagine if the surviving long-haired, little-snot teenager with pressure-cooker bombs was a real threat to society or the government? Utter insanity. Check out “Rise Of The Warrior Cop” by Radley Balco. After watching several episodes of Dallas SWAT on TV, I thought, my God, what the hell is going on in this country????????? All the while the U.S. border is virtually wide open.

  16. These dangerous Boston jackboots soiled their drawers, violated citizen rights, and appear to have shot up the town because they were scared you-know-what-less of TWO jihadi scum.

    The dangerous gang in blue in LA shot up the town too, because they were afraid of ONE angry, liberal ex-cop. (It’s a miracle that the two older ladies delivering papers lived when their truck was perforated.)

    Suuuuuuuure these guys should have a monopoly on force … especially in big liberal cities.

    (Not to disparage the good Oath Keepers I’ve met from more rural departments or ‘red’ areas)


    I could hear the gunfire in Watertown from my home. I cringed as I listened hard to the faint noise. It was not the sound of handguns. It was rifle fire. psst. The bad guys didn’t have rifles. A few minutes I watched the replay of the contagious fire on the news. Hmm. Lets see. The bad guys have ONE Ruger 9mm handgun.

    I refer to this as the one-way gun fight.

    The events of that evening and of the next day show a complete and total disregard for the people of Watertown.

    Cops get crazy when one of their own is killed. If you remember, it was generally sane until the Tsarnievs killed the MIT cop trying to steal his gun. (unsuccessfully because they couldn’t figure out how to release his level 3 retention holster)

    They tried to execute the Tsarnievs in Watertown. I’m frankly OK with that. But in the process, they pumped 1500 rounds of ammo into a densely populated area.

    On one news cast I could clearly see officers picking up their brass after the fact. Hmm. Trying to downplay your negligent fire?

    On the upside, I had a lovely day downtown in Boston on friday with my two girls. The place was empty and I was able to park right next to the Rose Kennedy park.

  18. One other thing. Friday afternoon. After the Watertown one way shootout but before he was caught in the boat, I went to Logan to pick up my wife.

    Public transit had been shut down and we were told there were no taxis in town. (It turns out that was wrong. God bless private enterprise).

    As I turned onto the main loop around Logan Airport, there was a police officer checking cars trunks. The cabs were popping their trunks as they pulled up.

    I got to the state trooper and he motioned for me to open my trunk. I told him I didn’t consent to any searches. He looked at me like I was unpatriotic or something, and said, “We’re looking for a terrorist”. I told him I’d just left home and my car was parked in a locked garage. I was confident there wasn’t a terrorist in my trunk. Then I asked him what his reasonable articulable suspicion was to justify a search?

    He looked at my bland responsible car, my two kids in the back seat, giggling from a day playing in a deserted Boston and waved me past.

    This triggered two conclusions in my mind.

    1) this wasn’t about catching a terrorist. It was about conditioning a populace to invasive searches. Why? Because, if they really wanted to catch the terrorist, they would have put extra people at the security checkpoints. Its a natural chokepoint for anyone getting on a plane. Just look for anyone who looks like a Tsarniev in disguise.

    2) If you are going to put yourself in a position where you might get arrested for asserting your civil rights, do it with young children. No cop wants to arrest someone and then have to deal with finding someone to take care of the minor children. Sure, he’ll do it if you actually commit a crime. But its the last thing he wants to do if his reason for arrest is merely you challenging his authority.

    • “…If you are going to put yourself in a position where you might get arrested for asserting your civil rights, do it with young children.”

      Excellent advice!

      I just called our son and told him to keep our grandkids on “standby.”

  19. The law is on your side if you resist this nonsense. Of course surviving the encounter is highly questionable:

    “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.” John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529.

    “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306.

    “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

    “Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

    “One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

  20. Were there any instances in Watertown of homeowners refusing to have their home searched? The response to such a simple and natural act would likely be studied for centuries. The Shot Heard ‘Round The World, Part 2?

  21. Is there irony in the single biggest liberty encroachment in recent history taking place due to a half assed muslim terrorist attack on Patriot’s Day just a few miles from Lexington?

    I read the report and Dyspeptic Gunsmith is spot on in his assessment above. The report didn’t mention the real reason for the intra-police agency firefight. It was literally a battle to settle who would claim credit for capturing (hopefully the corpse of) suspect #2. I’m not trying to be funny.

  22. It was a giant cluster EXPLETIVE DELETED caused by two morons with probably zero training and no plan at all. House riddled with bullet holes near that boat.

    Imagine what 10 well armed ex-spetnaz could do to a town like boston if they really tried.

    The cluster would 1000x worse. 10,000 plus law enforcement would be deployed. National guard as well. Some agency would call for a tactical nuke, and then drop it on the wrong city 🙂

  23. I read after this hot mess that some 250+ shell casings were on the ground, fired by police. And how many strikes did they get? It seems a couple, yet was it not one brother running over the other, not gunfire, that took Tamerlan down? And of course near fatally shooting one of their police brethren.

    I read a summary of a FBI report that studied 500 violent encounters between felons and police. 50 were outlined. It was shocking. Accuracy % was nearly double for the bad guys. Bad guys practiced firing 7x more than average police officer, especially as police officers become more tenured.

    Shannie Baby says I should let the police defend me? After smoking the score of a county swat team in a sporting clays tournament, closely watching how they handled their shotguns….no thanks.

    • I doubt the level of regular training and practice for “law enforcement” officers has gotten any better since I left The Job thirty years ago. Back then the excuse was always the budget; they just didn’t have the money and the brass and their citizen bosses didn’t care about it. So if we were concerned enough, we got out on our own time and our own dime and practiced. Maybe 10% of us, tops, at the time. As for the departments, it was annual qualification firing, at best, shooting at stationary paper targets. A decent RO would try to vary it and have night firing, etc., but they were pretty limited.


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