Boston Police Accused of Beating Student to Death for Snide Comment

Citizen groups are calling for an investigation of the death of David Woodman, a 22-year-old Emmanuel College student in Boston. According to friends, Woodman merely made a slightly snide comment to officers and was tackled by eight officers and eventually died from his injuries. The Boston police department is insisting that no excessive force was used against Woodman who was holding only a plastic beer cup.

The arrest for disorderly conduct occurred at 12:47 a.m. According to one of the friends, merely said “Wow, it seems like there’s a lot of crime on this corner.” His friends said that, when they begged them to stop, they were told to clear out or be arrested.

Woodman had a preexisting heart condition, but his friends and family insist that the officers beat him to the point of putting him in a coma. It certainly appears a heavy response to an open container violation.

The Chief of Police is promising an open and transparent investigation.

For the full story, click here

8 thoughts on “Boston Police Accused of Beating Student to Death for Snide Comment

  1. It sounds like the autopsy report will be very important. I hope the parents are able to get some closure from the report, but from what the witnesse report, they may not get closure for awhile. The reports of alleged police use of excessive force seem to be far too common. I know things can get out of hand during those post championship game celebrations, but people dying from it is tragic. I didn’t see any comment about any available video of the incident. A video could go a long way in solving this problem. My condolences to the family.

  2. Rafflaw wrote:
    The reports of alleged police use of excessive force seem to be far too common. I know things can get out of hand during those post championship game celebrations, but people dying from it is tragic.

    Absolutely Rafflaw; too common and IMO outright alarming. If police officers cannot control their tempers just because someone made a snide comment they CHOSE to take offense at, then IMO they shouldn’t BE police officers to begin with. One snide comment now merits an attack by EIGHT armed officers? Sorry, it doesn’t pass the stink test.

  3. From The Boston Globe editorial page:

    “In another twist to the case, officials confirmed that all nine police officers – eight patrol officers and a sergeant – involved in the confrontation with Woodman went immediately to the hospital after Woodman was rushed from the scene, to be treated for ‘stress-related injuries.'”

    Time for disability payouts, apparently. As if being a police officer in Boston isn’t a highly lucrative line of work. More than 1300 well in excess of $100K annually, with dozens earning in excess of $200K, plus very generous benefits that any private sector employees would envy. One would think that individuals drawn to the job who have underlying psychological needs to demonstrate their authority and dominance over others could be eliminated from the applicant pool in favor of more stable candidates. Sadly, too many police forces seem to select and train for belligerence.

  4. David had a way of striking up conversations with strangers by asking questions that caused one to think a moment and realize that the obvious was not the correct answer. Everyone present knew that the police were present in force because of the ensuing victory celebration, not because that particular street corner had the highest rate of crime in Boston. Unfortunately for all of us, most especially his family, those police officers did not respond to him in the same way his friends and strangers have during his short life.

  5. What’s unfortunate is the absolute rush to judgement against the officers. As someone who is not from Boston but has read so many details regarding this incident, it is striking that all too many people are so accusatory of the police.

    Yes, it is truly unfortunate that this young man died. Reading Mr. Turley’s comment about the boy being “beat to death” is shameful rhetoric. In watching the interview with Mr Friedman, the attorney for the Woodmans, there was no mention of any injuries sustained from their son being beaten. In fact, when asked about the Woodmans’ issue, Mr Friedman responded that David’s parents felt the police are at fault for not responding to the boy’s cardiac crisis more expediently. I’m am sure that if Mr Woodman had been “beat to death” by the police, that would have been the very first allegation arising from the parents… as well it should. But that is not their claim.

    Unfortunately, we are all responsible for our own actions. Unfortunately, had Mr Woodman not drawn police attention, carried an open container of alcohol, then run, the incident may not have occurred. And incidentally, Mr. Woodman had an outstanding bench warrant, which may have been his motive for running. Notwithstanding, his death is truly unfortunate.

    For those who question the salaries of police officers. What do you feel is the value of your life. Whatever it is, I’m sure puting ourselves in harms way for strangers would make it even more valuable. We often take for granted our feeling of relative safety… those of us who are fortunate enough to be educated and sit at desks typing on fancy computers, blogging on websites. We have fallen into the false sense of security of the bubble “world” in which we live. When you want to question the role your local police play in keeping you safe and the money they make for doing it, take a ride to the “other” side of Boston some evening… the side I’m sure you actively avoid, get out of your car, stroll down the street and see just how quickly you flee back to your bubble. And when you do, you thank your police for giving you that comfortable feeling. Boston has one of the lowest major city homicide rates in the US. I live it DC and the numbers don’t compare… and Boston is larger.

    To Mr. Turley I say, next time I see you on Hardball, Countdown or any other news show giving your “expert” opinion, I will switch the channel. Shame on you!

  6. Elaine it sounds like you are educated. I am surprised that you are not more embarrassed to report on something of which you are apparently ignorant. Perhaps you operate on a much more superficial level. This is not a superficial situation.

    David Woodman did not run.
    This is according to the witnesses that have stepped forward. There are witnesses besides the police accounts.
    You mention an outstanding bench warrant. David Woodman had no outstanding warrants. Where would that lie have come from? The Boston PD told the media this fabrication while David was in a coma. What possible motive would the Boston PD have to leak that particular LIE to the press? Doesn’t it seem curious to even the most devout? Oh by the way, BPD has dropped this claim as well.
    David Woodman’s friends has cups of beer as well.
    Why David?
    He made the comment.
    Is the comment “beat to death” appropriate?
    Perhaps Mr. Friedman did not mention the condition of David’s face in the hospital. Perhaps you did not read much about the arrest. You claim that you have read so many details yet it is clear that you have not OR perhaps you have an agenda
    Did you notice that until now the Boston PD rendition of what occurred has changed? The story has changed at least 5 times that I personally have noticed.
    Let’s put it in a way that might make sense to you in that idealistic bubble of yours.
    David Woodman sustained acute physical injuries to his body. This is the claim and has been from day 1. It is his cardiac INJURY that killed him. The fact that he died due to his injuries has always been the focus. A young man went to watch the second half of the game at the billiards place in walking distance from his home. He made a comment and now he is dead.
    What do you consider beat to death?
    What about the fact that BPD lied about starting CPR, when in truth CPR was started much later.
    Why did they run off his friends with threat of arrest and pepper spray?
    Why does the BPD pair together David’s story with a completely different situation of Celtic mayhem at a completely different section of the Boston.
    What possible reason would they do that? It certainly does convince people like yourself to write about situations of which they are entirely ignorant.

    See, this is why you can’t just react. It is important to gather the facts and arm yourself with truth before moving forth. Both yourself and some members of the Boston PD are more of the “knee jerk” reaction ilk. In this “bubble world” it’s justifiable to kill someone for a comment. You see, people like yourself are so afraid of the other side of D.C. and Boston that bad cops can be forgiven for whatever the sin. It is already justified in the minds of yourself and people like you. Mr. Turley has obviously upset you with some FACTS that somehow pop your utopian bubble world.

    Sounds like it is you sitting in front of your desk typing on her fancy computer and blogging on websites. You have fallen into a false sense of security in your bubble world. As you clearly support the police in this situation, you display your lack of homework and acute ignorance. You claim that you have read so many details yet it is clear that you have not OR perhaps you have an agenda. It’s amazing how people will stand up and pontificate on subjects they know so little about. Propaganda seems to have a strong hold on you. Just remember that we are talking about a young man DEAD. Hard to believe unless you know someone personally. I do, rather did.

    Elaine I nominate you to be the poster child for the mentality that empowers an abusive element within the Boston PD. Your fear, of the “other” side of Boston, has justified behavior that killed a young man. What value do you place on his life?
    Elaine shame on you.

  7. it makes me absolutely sick to think that there are actually people out there who don’t think that the police are at fault. they did NOT get him help when he needed it, like when he stopped breathing. instead they decided to get him help when it was convenient for them. it is sick to know that they are still out there saying they did nothing wrong. david woodman was an amazing person who would still be here today if the police had done their job correctly and not tried to cover their own asses.

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