A blistering report on Boston Police Department handling of post-Super Bowl rioting says high-ranking officers failed to prepare for crowds that turned violent, setting fires and overturning cars, the Boston Globe reports. A 21-year-old man died during the early-morning fracas on Feb. 2. Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole said “the management team failed the police officers who were out on the street that night in not anticipating either the extent or the behavior of the crowds….the Boston Police Department failed in this instance, and we’re very sorry for that.”
The report said there were “no discussions or planning” on traffic issues, arresting many people at once, transportation of officers for redeployment, staging areas, or contingencies. A spokeswoman said 147 officers were assigned to crowd control. “The majority of [planning] time was spent discussing plans for the victory parade,” said the report.
The report said responsibility for the department’s plan fell on then-Acting Police Commissioner James M. Hussey, who was criticized after the rioting for not going in to work during the riots. Hussey has been demoted to captain. Said O’Toole: “It was my job to assemble a command team that will take this department forward and ensure that a tragedy such as this does not happen again.”