Should Boston Cop Have Arrested Commissioner’s Son for DUI?


A Boston police officer pulled over a driver who had been drinking, who turned out to be Police Commissioner Edward Davis’ son. The Boston Globe says those who study policing differ on the officer’s decision to drive Philip Davis home rather than arresting him. Prof. Eugene O’Donnell of John Jay College of Criminal Justice said, “It's not unequivocal that you have to make an arrest, but it's close,” said O'Donnell. “Anything you say about this is colored by the fact that you were told who this young man is.”

Several people said driving home suspected drunk drivers is not unusual. Officers have wide latitude on whether to ­arrest. Officers can be held liable if a person they don’t arrest gets into a fight or drives another car and kills someone. Criminologist Jack Levin of Northeastern University said the officer’s judgment appeared sound. “I think if he had just ­allowed the commissioner's son to drive on, it would have been a lot worse, especially if he had had an accident,” said Levin. The officer “protected motorists; he protected the driver he stopped. The question is [ ] why did he not arrest him?”

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