Angelene Richardson, Less Than Boston Strong

It started as just another day at Carlos Miller’s Photography is not a Crime blog.  A video of some police situation which ended up being a video of a fat cop trying to push around a kid with a video camera.

But they can’t do that!

But they did.

There are two things that can be done about some fat cop pushing around a kid, Jay Kelly, with a video camera. Fight it in court, as in the Glik case, or name and shame as Carlos does.  Another kid, Taylor Hardy, who works with Carlos, chose instead to call the Boston Police Department spokesmodel, Angelene Richardson, to find out why they weren’t honoring the Glik case, and recorded the call.

There is a question about whether Hardy informed Richardson that he was recording the call. He says he did, but his iPad “messed up” and so it’s not on the recording. Richardson says he didn’t. Either way, she decided to file a complaint against Hardy under Boston’s peculiar wiretapping law, and Det. Nick Moore took the case.

Then Carlos added an additional twist. He posted Richardson’s public information, including her office telephone number, and urged readers to call her.

Maybe we can call or email Richardson to persuade her to drop the charges against Hardy considering she should assume all her conversations with reporters are on the record unless otherwise stated. Her listed number is (617) 343-4520.

Maybe we can build up an entire collection of recorded conversations with her. After informing her, of course.

Note: I am not a fan of this tactic. I consider it counterproductive, as the more annoying people are to the cops, the more stuck they become in their position and the greater their need to show who’s in charge. I have never found antagonizing the police to be effective in resolving such matters short of nuclear war. That said, it doesn’t mean that I’m right or that Carlos’ choice of employing the tactic was wrong.

And it didn’t save Hardy, but it did buy Carlos new problems.

In a sheer act of intimidation, the Boston Police Department is planning on filing a complaint against me for witness intimidation because I posted the name, email and phone number to a police spokeswoman, encouraging readers to ask her to drop the accusation against Taylor Hardy, whom she claims recorded her without consent.

Detective Nick Moore also assured me he would do the same to any PINAC readers if they continue to contact departmental spokeswoman Angelene Richardson as they have been doing since yesterday.

Will Moore be racking up those frequent flyer miles traversing the nation in his search for unwanted callers?  Not too likely. But for Carlos, he might make a special trip.  Carlos received an email from Det. Moore:

Mr. Miller,

Can you please contact me at your convenience at my office, 617-343-6681. I realize that you do not trust the police and that is fine but I assure you I am not trying to jam you up. I just wish to have a cordial conversation with you and clear the air about a few things. Please do not post my office number or email to your website as I have numerous victims of serious crimes who contact me on a daily basis and It would not be fair to them or me if my voicemail box is full and they cannot get ahold of me.

My supervisors and the District Attorney’s office are aware of this request but I assure you that the conversation will just be me and you, not recorded, and again, Im not trying trap you into anything incriminating. As I relayed to Mr. Hardy I try to give everyone involved in my investigations the benefit of the doubt and speaking with you about this hopefully will accomplish that. Thank you.

Detective Moore
Boston Police Department

Given that Carlos has been through the wringer a few times, one would suspect he could see what was coming a mile away. But, and this is an important lesson for armchair anarchists, nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them. Nobody thinks that a nice request to chat is anything more than a nice request to chat. Nobody thinks they can’t talk their way out of it.

As Ken observed in retrospect,

By the way, I often tell people to shut up rather than answer questions from cops, because when cops say they are “just clearing up some issues” or “just want to straighten some things out” or “just want to get some facts,” they are very often full of shit: they are trying to get you to incriminate yourself. As an example of what I mean, consider the dishonest, unctuous bullshit that BDP Detective Nick Moore used in an effort to get Carlos Miller to talk before charging him.

Yup. Moore’s “unctuous” email worked, and yup, the next day, Carlos learned Moore was charging him with felony witness intimidation.
Boston PD Complaint2

Both Carlos and Hardy are set to appear before a magistrate to plead to the charges.  And the fat cop who pushed Hardy around in the first place will be free to attend sensitivity training at the local Dunkin’ Donuts, while Richardson’s fear and intimidation will be on public display and Moore will put on his best cop suit for the medal award ceremony.

I’m not privy to Carlos’ plans, but there is no doubt he’s a fighter.  Neither Richardson nor Moore would have likely anticipated the embarrassment they brought on their department by making themselves look like such worthless, fragile twinkies, but if they thought they could intimidate Carlos (and perhaps the rest of the internet) into behaving as they command, they made a grave mistake.

At the same time, I don’t imagine Carlos and Hardy planned a fun trip to Boston this week when they started down this road.

22 thoughts on “Angelene Richardson, Less Than Boston Strong

    1. SHG Post author

      It refers to the available door prizes for appearing in a Boston courtroom for those who comes from far off jurisdictions.

  1. LTMG

    I note that the Application for Criminal Complaint lacks the complainant’s signature. Is this a gesture on the part of Det. Moore to intimidate Miller into capitulating? I also note that the Application for Criminal Complaint is the first of two pages, but there is clearly a page stapled in front of the Complaint, and there does not appear to be a second page of the Complaint stapled behind the first page. Any opinions or guesses if there is an actual Complaint for Miller to answer?

  2. John Barleycorn

    Be careful.

    Sixth sense is to knitting like wool is to splatting wood.

    Fiber is, but not all fibers intend to knit.

    Cheers to the knit riders.

    Where the fuck are they?

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  4. Marc R

    So I’m guessing Carlos didn’t call an attorney before he called the detective? In any event, I’d love to see the warrant application to get Carlos to Boston. I’m assuming it’s county only, maybe statewide. Is there an actual nation-wide warrant with instructions for say Miami police to extradite if they pull him over for speeding? There’s plenty of decent lawyers who would take this case for a fraction of a $50K retainer.

    1. SHG Post author

      I thought it was clear that Carlos called the detective without first speaking to a lawyer. It’s an important point, that someone as savvy and experienced with the police as Carlos can still be taken in by the Det. Friendly email. As for what compels him to appear, it’s unclear (and perhaps Carlos can clear it up), though I suspect it has to do with his not running away from a fight and not wanting an open warrant over his head as he continues his mission. Even if the chances of his being extradited to Boston are slim, he will still sit in a Miami cell while the local police await a refusal.

      1. Carlos Miller

        I did have second thoughts about responding to the email, but at the time, I wasn’t being the one accused of a crime, my associate was, so I called as publisher of Photography is Not a Crime to speak on behalf of my associate.

        From the conversation, I reckon the detective got me to admit that I posted the comment encouraging readers to call her.

        But I would have admitted to making the comment anyway through my writings. I stand by what I write.

        1. SHG Post author

          Would have admitted versus denied? Of course. Wouldn’t have spoken with the cop at all, even better. Another lesson.

          1. Carlos Miller

            But what’s a publisher of a news site to do when one of his associates is facing charges?

            I thought back to my newspaper days and wondered how they would handle it, and they would always make the call.

            1. Turk

              But what’s a publisher of a news site to do when one of his associates is facing charges?

              Have an attorney make the call for you?

  5. Michael

    Best of luck to the Boston PD with your effort to get a guilty verdict, assuming the judge doesn’t throw out the charges before it gets that far. I think it’s fine for Carlos to have called in that the anti-taping rule obviously can’t apply to calls with the police, or it’d moot the underlying right to record law in the first place. Following the same line of reasoning a police officer is a very different type of “witness” than an ordinary person to whom witness tampering laws are meant to protect.

    Those points get to the heart of things: the police are not some private company: they are public employees, in public buildings, using phones paid for by the public. They are different, as they themselves probably know because if they were not different — if they were not an arm of the government — and they arrested and incarcerate people they’d be quickly jailed.

    By abusing the trust inherent in their public position, as we see in this case, they erode public respect for the police and are arguably violating laws against abuse of public office. Police can’t demand private party privacy rights while retaining their official status; they can’t have it both ways. If lawyered well (I’d reach out to the law schools in the area, starting with Harvard), this could turn into a great precedent.

    1. SHG Post author

      Unfortunately, the law doesn’t always happen the way people think it should. The police are covered by Massachusetts’ wiretap law, with certain provisos. That said, Carlos should still win, though not for the reasons you think. While we all agree with your normative ideas of how the law should work, be cautious in suggesting otherwise so that people who don’t realize you are unaware of the law aren’t misled.

      As for reaching out to law schools, that’s just idiotic. Sorry, but that would be the worst possible idea.

  6. RKTlaw

    Why in God’s name would you go to a law school for legal help? Where did this notion get started that just anyone can do criminal defense? And, oh, by the way, Carlos (and anyone else) next time the police want to “just talk”, STFU.

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