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“Pay us like you owe us for all the years that you hoe’d us…”

(Boston, MA, 05/21/14) A Boston Police cruiser blocks off Dudley Street as police investigate the scene of a shooting in Boston on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. car squad Staff photo by Christopher Evans.

Source: MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images / Getty

Seems like almost every day we see another city shelling out millions of dollars to financially atone for the brutality or murder committed by the police department against innocent people. These settlements are awarded so frequently that it serves as damn evidence against those who use the “bad apple” analogy to explain away blatant abuses by the “blue lives”.

Today’s example comes from Boston where The Grio reports that a 64-year-old Black man named Al Copeland has settled his case against the city for $1.3 million after a particularly egregious incident that took place in 2019. One night in April of that year as Copeland was driving he began to experience severe signs of a stroke and pulled his car over to the side of the road. It was there that Boston police found him slumped over inside his vehicle and barely conscious. Instead of checking his vitals and tending to his health, the officers on the scene arrested Copeland and claimed that they “smelled alcohol”. Mr. Copeland says he hasn’t consumed spirits since 1995.

A WBUR report revealed that the city had no intentions on this information becoming public, but here were are. Copeland’s wife, Valerie, says that police took her husband to jail to “sleep it off”. After 5 agonizing hours in which he vomited, fell down, banged his head, and writhed in pain, they finally took Copeland to the hospital where they also assumed he was drunk and left him alone for 7 more hours. After toxicology revealed that he was not intoxicated in any way, it was finally determined that he had a stroke. He doesn’t remember much from that night but he did say this:

“I heard … they treated you like you was a drunk on the street,” he recounts. “That’s what I heard … and it pissed me off. Immediately, I went to: all these white addicts all over nodding all over the place, they treat me like I’m a drunk on the street.”

What followed is a lengthy hospitalization and intense rehab that still hasn’t helped him full recover.

“My balance, my attitude, my appetite,” he says. “Tasting food, and some cognitive things that are still happening, and some physical things as well.”

Sound like he deserves more than $1.3 million.


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