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Jury declares Teamsters not guilty in Top Chef intimidation case

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this is obscene. corruption continues in MA. No surprise there. unions are now the reason America cannot afford to build tunnels and infrastructure. Labor has become so enormously expensive, expanding infrastructure is essentially impossible.

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Are you really comparing Teamsters used for television/movie production to the lack of infrastructure across the US? Feels like a stretch. Last time I looked around most of America was not pro-union. And some of those union folks are very conservative in their political views. So are you upset with people demanding a fair wage to build the road you are going to drive on? Or are you mad that some of their politics don't align with the ideals of being part of a union? And how exactly did this union manage corrupt the justice system in this case? Just asking for more details instead of hyperbole.

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crickets

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I didn't see the evidence and argument that the prosecution presented, but the court said "not guilty", so that's that.

The TV and film industries are all business, with a small progressive sideline. Now we get to see how much business Boston loses over alleged union thuggery, and how much additional concessions we have to make to keep bringing the business that will still consider us.

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Umm, most of the infrastructure in the country was built when unions were more prevalent. Unions have become less common and the result is middle class people are no longer getting real raises. All the money is going to the 1%. Those billionaires want you to hate unions and you are buying their propaganda while they laugh at the suckers who buy their BS.

The reason our infrastructure is so crappy is because drivers are cheap and selfish and the oil companies owns the republican party. The gas tax should go up exponentially to match what they pay in Europe and then we can start competing with Europe and Asia when it comes to infrastructure. Stop giving billions in welfare to oil companies and car drivers and start investing in public transit.

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^^^^this

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-its-time-for-labor-to-organize-2015-6

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/reports/2012/01/25...

Having said that, I disagree with the jury in this case--but I was not in the courtroom hearing all the evidence. Unions can, do, and have become corrupt/criminal, but find large enough groups and there's always bad eggs.

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CEO's/managers/administrators can/do/have become corrupt/criminal.

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Could you please pass that along to all the suburban Democrats on Beacon Hill that perennially vote against increasing the gas tax?

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All because we should shift to VMT (pay per mile driven) and dynamic road pricing tomorrow. The oft repeated concerns about both are easily addressed. Mustering the political will to do so in a legislature that is still controlled by the "you will pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands" crowd is not.

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All because we should shift to VMT (pay per mile driven) and dynamic road pricing tomorrow.

Gas tax should cover the fully loaded costs that your use of petroleum fuel imposes on others. VMT should cover the fully loaded costs that your using the roads imposes on others. Dynamic pricing should cover the fully loaded costs that your using the roads at a busy time of day imposes on others. You need all three, otherwise someone's getting a free ride somewhere.

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Just curious how you'd determine the miles. Please don't say you would simply take odometer readings for a state tax as a lot of people drive a lot of miles outside the state

I'm a fan of simply raising the gas tax for a number of reasons.

- we already have a system to collect the money, so no additional expenses developing a new system to collect. It's simple.

- It's effectively the same as miles driven, but rewards those with fuel efficient cars. Yes, electrics get off free which bugs me. It also accounts for when people are out of state.

- we have a large tourism business, so we'd collect a lot from them

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The reason our infrastructure is so crappy is because drivers are cheap and selfish and the oil companies owns the republican party.

Funny how you blame republicans, but overlook the fact that our state is overwhelmingly represented by democrats. It's like blaming GE for the tax breaks those reps handed to them.

And "drivers are cheap and selfish"? I drive a car, therefore I am cheap and selfish? Really? Where do you come up with this shit?

Regarding unions, did you see where the workers at a Nissan plant overwhelmingly voted the union down?

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I don't blame republicans for the lack of infrastructure. I blame them for hating their fellow Americans so much that they side with neo-Nazi's.

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It's expensive because most workers seen working on the huge projects in Boston are white men. (North Station/Causeway Street, Casey Arborway Project, etc.

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One might expect that the workforce just about anywhere in metro Boston would be mostly white given that a bit over 70% of the population is white according to the Census Bureau. Construction jobs tend to skew male.

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Do you tink the same thing about corporate executives make huge $, including through 'cost saving' measures like outsourcing to low wage, no benefits workers, or getting big $bonuses$ through things like firing (sorry, terminating, 'letting go', 'laying off') employee at will (VAST majority of all U.S. workers, including white collar) employees?

Men (it's overwhelmingly men) who do the back braking work of constructing the buildings we all work, shop, live in, hospitals, airports, all the infrastructure we need and take for granted, in our 21st 1st world, deserve all the $ they get.

The real reason everything is so expensive and complicated by red tape is:

Lawyers and lawsuits

Insurance

Massive red tape and costs at municipal, state, federal levels.

A huge chunk of our deindustrialized economy now consists of parasitic middlemen and women and low wage service sector jobs.

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Are you freaking kidding me? On ALL counts?! They were on video thugging it out on the Top Chef crew. You'd have to be deaf, dumb, and blind to not see a crime committed there. With this precedent the Teamsters could probably kill someone in broad daylight in front of a cop and get away with it in this clown show of a state.

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"The union had a right to disrupt the business of the employer by lawfully striking for higher wages. Acts of violence occurring during a lawful strike and resulting in damage to persons or property are undoubtedly punishable under State law. To punish persons for such acts of violence was not the purpose of the Hobbs Act," Justice Potter Stewart wrote in the decision for the majority.

this is from a 70's supreme court case that set the relevant precedent here. Basically the prosecution had to prove that the unions wanted no-show or unnecessary jobs. In fact NBC had attempted to pay them off and the Teamsters turned him down.

I never did understand about how this happened in front of the Milton Police. I remember that day, I drove by and the police were there the whole time.

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I hope Mayor Walsh, after rightfully condemning the hateful protest in Charlottesville, will also condemn the hateful protest sponsored by his staff in Lower Mills. A "not guilty" doesn't mean innocent and testimony made it obvious Marty Walsh's people were OK with the intimidation, if not the multiple tire slashings.

This verdict may have some intrinsic value as the case produced testimony that clearly implicated the Walsh administration and his lackey Brisette. Brisette will go on trial soon. This was an appetizer, the entree will be in the fall. After that, who knows?

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He's been wasting our time with his irrelevant screeds multiple times every day for weeks now. If that axe isn't sharp by now, it is never going to take an edge. Give us a break, willya?

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Virginia?

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There were easier to prove state charges that the Teamsters would very likely have been convicted on (for the tire slashing, physical intimidation, etc.) They wanted harsher sentences and therefore went for extortion, which is harder to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. During the trial, there were a few articles on this.

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Except it's possible the people on the jury wanted to let these guys go free. A different courtroom might not have changed that.

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...if State AG or Suffolk County DA considered taking up the case on lesser, more provable charges. I'm sure they were relieved when the feds stepped in, absolving them of taking on Local 25, which could be a career-limiting move.

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As we saw in the Rodney King case, when the California state jury cleared the police officers for acting according to their training, the federal prosecutors stepped in for a second bite at the apple, gaining convictions.

In reverse order, now that the federal jury has acquitted the Teamsters, surely we can expect AG Maura Healey and the Suffolk and Norfolk DA's to take a whack at it. Campaign contributions from Local 25 shouldn't influence them. The racist and homophobic remarks alone should be grounds for state Civil Rights violations, never mind the felony malicious damage to a dozen motor vehicles (slashed tires).

Any update on the Holocaust Memorial desecration? Suspect shown on ch. 7 appeared and sounded like an ethnic minority. The Holocaust desecration in June was done by an African-American from Roxbury. The suggestion was that all of the vandalism was inspired by President Trump but suspects don't seem to fit the demo.

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They saw nothing to warrant (no pun intended) action.
Now they might have been negligent or even complicit but good luck bringing local or state charges at this point. It ain't happening.

Are you really a cop? you should know this.

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How is this a civil rights case? It wasn't extortion.

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Any reports of the jurors being intimidated by these goons? I wouldn't be even slightly surprised if the Teamsters manipulated the outcome of this case.

Regardless of the verdict, the video evidence speaks for itself. These guys are massive assholes.

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If you read any serious commentary on this case, you'll see that those versed in labor law note that the actions did not rise to the charges.

It was prosecutorial overreach. The guys did bad things, but they were charged with other things.

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If you read my commentary, you'd see that my opinion rests upon the fact that regardless of the verdict, these guys are still massive dickheads.

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Any reports of the jurors being intimidated by these goons?

The blockheads were engaged in a picket. Sure, their language was horrible, but you really stretched to make assumptions that they intimidated the jury. At the end of the day, the feds tried to make a case that wasn't there.

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They were proven, via video evidence, that they engaged in intimidation in the past.

Was I off base in making an assumption that there could have been additional coercion? (Also, it certainly wouldn't be unprecedented for a jury to be persuaded by an outside entity with much to lose)

Stop defending these goons, you sound silly.

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are you talking about the cell phone video from the event? It is disgusting and very offensive language was used but I couldn't hear any physical threats. It is broad daylight and the Milton Police are present, remember.

And yes you are off base in suggesting that the Federal Court doesn't protect jurors adequately.

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You somehow are theorizing that the defendants intimidated to get the verdict they wanted when it was plain as day that they did not do what they were accused of doing. So yes, you were off base. I cannot say you were off base in calling them dickheads, but that's not what they were on trial for.

We are a nation of laws. The law they were charged with breaking had little to do with using bad language or even with slashing tires (I certainly am not going to say they didn't do that, but interestingly they were not charged with malicious destruction of property.) Perhaps someday you'll be facing prosecutorial overreach. And hopefully you'll have a lawyer who can clear away the fog and get to the facts.

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If you ignore the media fracas and actually look at the facts of the case, you'll realize that the actions of these men amounted to, at best, criminal charges vandalism and harassment - but nothing resembling a federal case. These charges were initially brought by Carmen Ortiz, who had been widely criticized for ham-fisted overreach throughout her tenure as U.S. Attorney. Remember Aaron Schwartz?

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Padma Lakshmi, a host of "Top Chef," testified that she was "petrified" when she was confronted by a Teamster.

Lakshmi, who is also an author and model, said she was a passenger in a vehicle outside the Steel & Rye restaurant in Milton, just south of Boston, where a group of men had formed a line so vehicles could not move forward. She said one man leaned his arm on her door and said, " 'Oh, lookie here, what a pretty face' or 'What a shame about that pretty face.'"

I've never understood situations like this. If I was in a car and someone attempted to stop me and intimidate/assault me by standing in front of my vehicle, they're going to quickly find out what happens when 180 pounds of human flesh tries to physically challenge 2500 pounds of steel.

Don't stop. Just proceed forward, 1-2 mph or so. They'll move.

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Good luck beating that charge and getting your license back.

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Marty owes Trump a gift basket for taking the podium tonight and distracting everyone from the Top Chef fiasco.

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