Watertown Police Outreach Meeting

I’m upset and also alarmed that police invite us to
an “outreach” meeting that turned out to be an hour and a half
of schmoozing and mututal self-congratulation, and NOT A SINGLE
QUESTION submitted in writing was responded to or even read.

First, it would have been helpful if we were told in advance that our questions would go unanswered. I heard someone mutter that this was false advertising; that our questions were being accepted under false pretences.
One person suggested that this was a deliberate and cynical ploy
A) to flush out community concerns and keep them secret to give
the PR people plenty of time to formulate their spin
and sanitizing operations., or
B) to flush subversives out of the woodwork so that they can be
dealt with appropriately. (we put our names and addresses on the
written questions)

Public Outreach, to me, means a two-way conversation where
everyone present can hear what his neighbors’ concerns are ….
Not where input from the audience is either stifled outright
or buried in secrecy. (Information withholding).

This is supposed to be an open democratic society, not a
police state where citizens are kept conveniently in the dark
so they can be manipulated and expected simply to cheer and
rubber stamp everything the authorities do.
I therefore found this meeting ominously alarming.

1) I understand their argument that certain information could
prejudice an upcoming trial. But not all the questions submitted
fell in that category. Some of mine were general policy questions.
And even the ones that did, could at least be
read to the audience even if not answered.

The fact that none got answered makes it look as if this
policy of stifling and secrecy was already decided upon, a priori.
(even before a single question was taken in).

2) There is much that is troubling to me about the operations
of 19 April. Too many heavily armed trigger-happy paramilitary
personnel were doing things that looked foolish, unnecessary,
ineffectual, needlessly risky, or abusive and hostile toward
local citizens.

3) I agree that our Watertown police desrve a lot of credit for
their heroic actions on 19 April. But our praise will be worth a
lot more when it is based on knowledge of what truly happened; we’re
still being kept in the dark about almost all critical issues.

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