Boston’s Ed Davis: Ferguson Police Weapons ‘Should Be Put Down’

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis didn’t pull punches in criticizing police tactics in Ferguson, MO Monday night. Davis was speaking during CNN’s coverage of Monday’s clashes between police and protesters.

At one point, the camera panned in on a police officer in full armor sitting on the top of a moving armored vehicle. the officer had his rifle pointed toward the crowd.

“Those weapons should be put down until there’s a threat that justifies them,” Davis said.

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Davis called for “cooler heads to prevail” in Ferguson, saying police are obligated to protect anyone being attacked in the crowd, but should hold back on using weapons and aggressive tactics otherwise.

After the initial police action, Davis came back on the air and cited some “encouraging signs” he’d seen, noting officers had stopped rolling armored vehicles through the crowd and reformed into a line.

“You want to ratchet this down as soon as possible, and I see signs of that happening,” said Davis. “A tactical retreat by police is not a bad thing in this situation.”

Davis held firm when asked about whether throwing objects at police should provoke a forceful response.

“If you’re throwing rocks and bottles at police officers, yes, that’s true, but if you’re throwing things that aren’t injurious to officers, it’s a different story,” he said. “If that kind of stuff happens, then all of this is warranted. I just haven’t seen it.”