Don’t Cops Have Better Things To Do? Video Series

Submitted by Matt Edwards

Boston cops are so eager to bust DIY indie-rock shows that they won’t simply wait to respond to noise complaints that might arise. Instead they’re going online posing as punk rockers to bust bands before they perform. It’s part of a city-wide effort to crack down on basement and warehouse shows spurred by a recently passed nuisance control ordinance.

Slate‘s Luke O’Neil sets the stage: “Almost everyone in the DIY scene has had an experience with phony police emails, direct messages on Twitter, and interactions on social media. For some it’s become just another part of the promotion business—a game of spot-the-narc in which the loser gets his show shut down. According to one local musician who asked not to be named, the day before a show this past weekend, police showed up at a house in the Allston neighborhood, home of many of these house shows, claiming that they already knew the bands scheduled to play. The cops told the residents of the house that they found out about the show through email, and they bragged about their phony Facebook accounts.”

“This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like.”

“‘Too bad you were not here this weekend,’ ‘Joe Sly’ wrote. ‘Patty’s day is a mad house I am still pissing green beer. The cops do break balls something wicked here. What’s the address for Saturday Night, love DIY concerts.'” More here.

Don’t cops have better things to do? Well, yes, especially in a city with more pressing problems, like, say, unsolved murders. The Boston Globe calls the “painfully slow rate at which most killings are solved” one of Beantown’s most “intractable problems.”

So instead of playing pretend online, maybe cops could spend more time in the real world catching real criminals.

Thanks and feel free to write me anytime!



When you see "CopBlock" as the author it means it was submitted via our submission tab - you can share your story too. If you enjoy this content and/or believe "Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights" get yourself some CopBlock Gear from our store or donate just $1/month to the CopBlock Network.