Thursday, 4:30 PM
Statement and timeline from Police Commissioner Davis
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis issued this statement and timeline today to explain how the Police Department reacted to reports of suspicious devices found in the Boston area on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The devices turned out to be a marketing ploy for Turner Broadcasting Systems.
I would like to commend everyone involved in the response to yesterday’s events. The Citizens of Boston had their lives disrupted by what turned out to be a misguided publicity stunt. The men and women of the Boston Police Department and our various law enforcement partners responded to the situations presented to them efficiently and effectively, the way they have been trained to respond. Officers raced across the city in response to calls reporting bombs and other suspicious devices. As trained, our officers placed themselves in harms way to protect the public. Tough decisions were made to ensure safe situations. I cannot say enough about the rapid, efficient and skillful response by everyone involved in the day’s events. This response resulted in officers being held over to address the threats, which were being reported throughout the Boston Area.
Some have criticized the response to these incidents without having all the facts and circumstances known to them.
As the day unfolded the law enforcement community was informed in the early morning hours of the arrest by British authorities of several terror suspects.
At 6:53 a.m. DHS reported that a Washington D.C. Metro station was closed down due to a suspicious package.
At 8:18 a.m. an MBTA worker reported a suspicious device attached to a stanchion supporting Interstate 93 and near the train line. Appropriate units responded and determined that this device was suspicious and had components consistent with improvised explosive devices.
At 8:52 a.m. DHS notified Law Enforcement officials that at least 4 people were being treated at a post office after being overcome by fumes emanating from a package at a post office in New York City.
At 9:00 a.m. The Boston Police Bomb squad is requested by the MBTA to Sullivan Square and examines the item. As a precaution I-93 is closed and the device is rendered safe and determined to be some sort of hoax device at 10:21 AM.
At 12:54 p.m. the Boston Police Bomb squad receives a call for a suspicious device at the intersection of Stuart and Charles Street. That device appears similar to the first device containing batteries, wires, magnets and other components similar to the device in Sullivan Square. Using approved procedures the item is photographed, X-rayed and eventually rendered safe.
Six minutes later at 1:02 p.m. Boston Police received a call from New England Medical Center Security that they had uncovered a pipe bomb in their building in a desk drawer. Shortly thereafter Hospital Security reported that a suspect had been seen leaving the area of the pipe bomb in an agitated state stating “God is warning you that today is going to be a sad Day”. The suspect was reported to have fled the hospital. Boston Police continue to investigate this incident. No further details at this time.
At 1:08 p.m. the Boston Police Bomb Squad arrived and confirmed the existence of an item which appeared to be a pipe bomb inside the hospital.
At 1:11 p.m. information was received and a request was made by the Massachusetts State Police to have the bomb squad assist with locating devices under the Longfellow and BU bridges.
At this point we had multiple reports of possible improvised explosive devices of various types. As those devices were being investigated and rendered safe, detectives from the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police were running down information on a cartoon character possibly associated with these devices, that later led to websites associated with that character and individuals placing these devices around the area.
Boston Police begin to receive numerous calls for similar devices throughout Boston and surrounding areas.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. detectives from the Boston Police Department were contacted and were verifying information from representatives from the corporation responsible for this advertising campaign.
At 4:51 p.m. Turner Broadcasting representatives were verified as taking responsibility for placing devices with the cartoon character. This was at the same time a press conference was underway at Boston Police Headquarters.
Officers identified a device (possible pipe bomb) at the New England Medical Center which turned out to be unrelated. Another type of device was located under the Longfellow Bridge, which is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police.
During this time, ATF, FBI, Federal Protective Services, United States Secret Service, Massachusetts State Police, Federal Park Police, Transit Police, and our UASI Partners pulled together and redeployed resources in the event a larger response was needed.
Later in the evening the emergency event was declared resolved.
I recognize that this event caused you to work extra hours, to inconvenience your families and cause them concern. I want to convey my deep appreciation of your dedicated service and my pride in the manner in which the members of this Department responded to this incident.