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Cambridge police superintendent owns up to spewing about Joe Kennedy, Ed Markey on department Twitter account

Albert

Cambridge Police today identified Supt. Jack Albert, who has been on the force for 32 years, as the person who mistakenly used the department Twitter feed to call US Rep. Joe Kennedy "a liberal fucking jerk" whose sole saving grace was that he was better than "the clown" Kennedy is running against, Sen. Ed Markey.

Police said, effective immediately, only the department's director of of communications and media relations will have access to the department Twitter feed. The department also released a statement by Albert:

To the City of Cambridge, my colleagues at the Cambridge Police Department and my friends and family, I wanted to take full ownership and responsibility for my regrettable actions following inappropriate political commentary I inadvertently published on the Department’s Twitter account.

As a 32-year-member of the Cambridge Police Department, and someone who grew up in the City of Cambridge, I know the high standards the Cambridge Police are expected to uphold in the community. Those expectations are rightfully heightened with someone in my executive position - on and off-duty. Unfortunately, in a moment of heated political debate with friends, I posted commentary that was out of character and not something I am proud of. I - not the department - deserve the criticism that has been directed to the Police Department over the last 24 hours.

During this unprecedented time and COVID-19, my colleagues at the Cambridge Police Department have been doing extraordinary work supporting and protecting our residents. To detract from their exemplary efforts because of my poor lapse in judgement is something that I will forever carry with me.

I want to genuinely apologize to Senator Markey, Representative Kennedy, the Cambridge community, and the great men and women of the Cambridge Police Department.

The department added:

Superintendent Albert is subject to disciplinary action per Department policy and procedures. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, the Department would be restricted from disclosing any specific disciplinary action involving such personnel matters. Rest assured, the Cambridge Police Department remains committed to providing the very highest-level of service to our community and will work tirelessly to restore any trust that may have been broken as a result of this unfortunate incident.

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Comments

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, the Department would be restricted from disclosing any specific disciplinary action involving such personnel matters.

It ought to be reconsidered. If a public official like this breaks public trust in some sort of manner, I think the public is owed actual assurance that there will be accountability.

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Voting closed 100

Probably a first time discipline incident for him, and for something like this, a written reprimand is pretty standard. (Although sometime when you achieve a rank this high, you can be demoted for something like this)

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Voting closed 33

That doesn't sufficiently get to the core of the issue I stated. If what you suggested is what this constitutes (and probably taking away the keys to the Department's social media), I don't see what lawful need there is to withhold that information from the public.

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Voting closed 33

Just giving my guess as to what kind of punishment he might get.

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I'm going to guess that it's not MGL that limits Cambridge PD from sharing disciplinary action. Far more likely it's the result of the CBA between the city and whatever union Mr. Albert is a member of. That *sounds* like the kind of thing a union would push to keep confidential.

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Then why would they start off the sentence with "persuant to Mass General Laws"? Unless it pertains to CBA and MGL, but either way that's a bit convoluted.

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First time? How do you know, we cant know since apparently the public isn't allowed to know how the perps are disciplined. What a coward this cop is. Cambridge cops have less and less respect by those of us that pay their extraordinarily inflated salaries. I hope he is fired but since Cambridge is already claiming they will hide his punishment he will continue to collect big bucks to lard around and tweet invectives like his orange haired hero.

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This is awesome.

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Voting closed 28

acab

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Voting closed 26

How many arrests did Albert contribute to where the person arrested was taking part of some sort of "liberal jerk" thing like a protest against government overreach?

How many "clowns" has he locked up?

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Voting closed 77

People can separate their professional lives and their personal lives. And their Twitter lives, too.

Just because someone uses some PG-13 language, and doesn't properly genuflect before our (D) politicians, doesn't mean their a bad person or a bad cop.

That said - c'mon Superintendent, be a little more careful on the keyboard

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Voting closed 39

None?

You know this for a fact, do you?

People can separate their professional lives and their personal lives. And their Twitter lives, too.

Yes, but did he? That's the question.

I don't think someone like this belongs in his position. Too much bias married to too much power.

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Voting closed 66

Just because he wrote something political?

Good luck finding a robot to lead our police force.

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that's why we're reading all this...

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That's the problem!

Sure, he made a big mistake on his phone over politics, but come on now, there's no way he would make a much worse mistake during the heat of the moment of a police interaction!

Is that your argument?

What the fuck are you smoking?

Severe reprimand is in order to set an example.

Extremely poor judgement to even send that tweet from the wrong account, never mind the disturbing message behind it.

If you think this guy is giving "liberal" protesters at a rally a fair shake I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

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We don't know. But if I were in lockup, I'd have my lawyer appealing on the fact that his bias may easily be systemic. People often hire people they like. People working for him on the street know just what kind of opinions he has and would self-select to work under him or somewhere else.

I'd be expecting this might have some repercussions on some appeals going forwards.

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Voting closed 27

You can find enough public police social media profiles with worse comments than this, and that’s against Trump, Obama, “liberals”, Hilary, you name it.

You would really need a lot more than this to over turn any conviction. This is despite the fact that this guy probably hasn’t made an arrest in 15 years and the ones that he did make are either out of prison, or did something serious enough that being a “liberal” had nothing to do with the arrest in the first place.

The bottom line is that if he put this in his own profile, there would be nothing the department could do about it (unless his position is a non civil service one and the chief/commissioner can demote him without cause) . He will be disciplined because he violated policies by misusing public social media accounts.

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You can find enough public police social media profiles with worse comments than this, and that’s against Trump, Obama, “liberals”, Hilary, you name it.

That's kind of a serious problem.

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Which says. “I can’t wait until this racist POS is out of office” is a serious problem?

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objectively. why do we have to do the false equivalence thing?

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You have to see the endless list of possibilities here right?

Bush is a terrorist
Tito Jackson is a goof
Trump is a rapist
Clinton is a rapist
Regan was a war criminal
Obama hates white people
Mitt Romney is a fucking clownfaced jerkoff
Deval Patrick was a snowflake fucking moonbat
Charlie Baker is a racist asshole
Ayanna Presley is an uneducated moron who should mind her business.

Which one of these warrants discipline? Only the ones you find “objectively” truthful?

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Which says. “I can’t wait until this racist POS is out of office” is a serious problem?

Trump's obvious racism notwithstanding, yes. If there's any indication that an officer might treat a suspect differently depending on that suspect's political views (e.g. a bumpersticker on their car), then that's a problem, since it would open up legitimate questions about that officer's objectivity and bias that could be used to challenge their arrests in court.

A lot of journalists operate under a code of ethics that precludes them from expressing political opinions on any subject, even political races or politicians that they don't cover, because it opens up questions of bias. It doesn't seem like a huge imposition to expect public servants who literally have the power of life and death to follow a similar code.

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But you can see there is a huge gray area when it come to speech like this.

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There shouldn't be.

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I don't see why there's any "grey area" when it comes to a cop expressing disdain for the people he's supposed to "serve and protect."

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If I hate trump, I can’t say it at all because of trump supporters who I’m supposed to protect?

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Not in public, on social media.

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My point is that as the superintendent of operations (patrols, tac-ops, and traffic enforcement), his officers under him know exactly what kind of person he is. They probably even like him or are like him because he's hired people he likes and they've self-selected to work for him rather than join a different unit/police force to be out from under a guy who occasionally likes to pop off about "liberal jerks and clowns".

Sure, he might not have any arrests still in jail, but his subordinates do. Is there a thin blue line in Operations for making sure "liberal jerks and clowns" get theirs? Does Cambridge inordinately spend too much on something that would get at those liberals...like bike traffic enforcement relative to the cost to society of say motor vehicle traffic enforcement?

My point is that these sorts of bias easily become endemic. They don't write down on the duty roster "I wanna see 10 liberals cry today"...but everyone knows what the big guy at the top wants.

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Legally you have no shot to get anything overturned from this, unless you can show extreme bias (in this case against rich white male liberal politicians). Just not that many scenarios I can think of in my experience where someone’s political leanings even came into factor in any arrest.

Plus a department like Cambridge (and Boston) is going to be so diverse that political leanings take a back seat to race all the time. And any division is going to be diversified in so many ways deputies never can being an entire unit into his way of thinking.

You take the most dangerous neighborhood in Boston, I wouldn’t call the residents liberal by any stretch of the imagination. And these are the places where most of the arrests and complaints are made.

In the end, no, I don’t think systemically a guy like this can pollute his subordinates in anyway, and definitely not in a way where someone could take legal action/appeal based on it.

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Legally you have no shot to get anything overturned from this

Who's trying to get anything overturned? The discussion is whether this unprofessional clown should be in a position of authority with the power of life and death over people whom he holds in contempt.

Just not that many scenarios I can think of in my experience where someone’s political leanings even came into factor in any arrest.

Would you know, really?

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And I’ve seen a few thousand arrests, testified in a few hundred cases, seen another thousand overturned for various reasons, etc etc. Never seen white rich liberal men targeted for anything unless they were from Weston or Wellesley (often time cops will give heavy fines to suburbanites over city residents).

Tell me what your experience is? (Besides being a white female gentrifier and the experiences that go along with them)

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I didn't read Kaz's point to be that limited in scope re: court action. It seemed like they were making a point about squad culture that was influenced by people in leadership positions.

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Here's hoping he drags those knuckles of his right out the door.

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Fire him.

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If he called non liberal politicians jerks he would be fine.
Maybe a stern talking to is the worst he would have to endure.

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He used the wrong twitter handle.
Its still ok to have an opinion in USA.
Or it use to be I guess

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Right, thats the point, he used the official Cambridge Police dept. account to not just make a poitical statement (which is unlawful) he used it to make a profane political statement. Thats what people are upset about, using an official government account to make profane political statements. No one said anything about his personal one, which he seemed to delete, Jack Albert (@Redlight79).

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He didn't do anything illegal. Mixing up Twitter handles is stupid, but that's not a crime in this country. But the problem isn't stupidity. It's how he puts his clearly strong view of people into the world. How he acts and treats those "liberal jerks". And he's not just "some guy". He's a police officer, tasked with protecting the rights and safety of the people of Cambridge, a lot of whom probably are liberal jerks. With what power he has, those people shouldn't feel like someone meant to protect them might actually be working against them.

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Voting closed 52

A superintendent. A supposed leader and supervisor. Revealing himself as a dope with poor judgement.

I want to see his real Twitter now.

What kind of other anti-American douchebaggery has he been posting?

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Only 100% approved and vetted opinions are allowed.

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This may come as a rude shock to you, but many companies have social media policies that forbid employees from making social media posts that are detrimental to the company. These are 100% enforceable. Why do you think this cop should be coddled?

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you won't have any more cops with your standards.

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...but don't ever try to get a job in the private sector.

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So it's OK that Amazon fires employees who criticize its actions?

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Depends on what you mean by "criticize its actions". In some cases, I believe, that wasn't "criticism" but labor organizing, which is protected. Running your (figurative) mouth about your employers, your coworkers, your workplace...isn't. Not for me, not for you. I know people who were fired for trash-talking their workplace on social media. It isn't protected speech, and you'll have to create a whole new chain of legal precedent if you think that this is not "ok".

tl;dr: as in so many cases, speech is usually free, but is not usually free of consequences.

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I've seen it where there is an introductory social media training. Once you take that you can do things like share a company post on your own Facebook or LinkedIn but you can't editorialize or comment any further about the content. So you can do a generic "Look at the cool stuff we're doing" but that's about it. Then there are higher level trainings for people who are in a position to post and comment safely (e.g. without violating SEC regulations) or to create the posts. Welcome to the modern world.

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Voting closed 12

When someone in a senior administrative role lets loose like this, you can betcha that it isn't confined to this one statement. This contaminates the culture of the entire organization. it's one thing to criticize a public figure's actions or statements of fact or opinion using facts and evidence. But it's another entirely when the ad hominems and condemnation fly free.

There's a dispatcher there who speaks contemptuously to callers. He was on duty when the superintendent tweeted his opinion. I'm guessing that dispatchers are influenced by senior departmental personnel.

The public will think long and hard about volunteering information or help when the police department doesn't rid itself of bad actors. Mr. Albert has a long way to go to build any sort of trust, and now, so does the entire Cambridge Police Department.

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When someone in a senior administrative role lets loose like this, you can betcha that it isn't confined to this one statement. This contaminates the culture of the entire organization.

Exactly. This gives permission to subordinates to express and act on similar attitudes.

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Good on him for apologizing, but I seriously doubt that it was “out of character”. You don’t just spew shit like that because things get heated.

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Or will the Cambridge Police Department have Jack Albert in a can?

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an example of this munch but short of firing him. don't fife him. give the goddamn police political bias training, they are completely stupid--it has to be possible to create a training that isn't entirely top-down neoliberal nonsense, but can without bullshit remind the police that part of their duty as Americans is to have a functioning mind--it also feels better than a malfunctioning mind. the reality is if we want police departments that are not full of psychotic oafish bigots then we are going to have to provide them with actual information and training, lest they try to get all that from resentful pill poppers like Limbaugh

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I believe it's spelled "mensch." And I don't think he is one.

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was not a typo. 'fife' was, but fuck maybe even fife applies in some way

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Pretty sure it was short for "buttmunch" a la Beavis & Butthead

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Voting closed 9

You dillhole.

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This is bullshit. Not for one second do I believe this is a mistake. This is an abuse of power by a public official. He should be removed from his post.

If this was a black guy shouting “Black Power” from the Cambridge Police official Twitter feed you can bet your ass he would be removed from his post immediately, and he wouldn’t be allowed to classify it as a mistake.

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Voting closed 59

So, he purposely posted this from the CPD account knowing he would be caught?

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Abuse of power? For using the department twitter handle? We've gone to plaid. Pump the brakes.

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Is "pump the brakes" what the kids are saying now when someone's just hit a nerve with an entirely on-target shot?

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...and so is his resignation. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

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Community outreach might be a good new assignment...

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Although it's a pretty great back-handed Markey endorsement. I was already leaning his way, but do we need another rich, coddled Kennedy, particularly when Ed's been doing pretty good work? It's a genuine question.

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Don't kid yourself, folks.
Department found out it was him and forced his "voluntary" apology.
Next it gets swept under the rug.
I have utmost respect for honest cops.
Despise assholes like this and those who cover up for them.

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Voting closed 20

on the company Twitter feed, left or right.

My job is like this guy's in that putting a hard political slant on company social-media posts would seriously undercut my professional credibility. Take your anti- or pro-Trump ravings to your personal Facebook account, dipshit. It's easier to pretend later you were being sarcastic, never mind that you don't appear to know what that word means.

That's a really dumb but only partly self-inflicted wound. It's an old, still frequently-unlearned lesson: tightly manage privileged access to critical applications, especially public-facing ones, or prepare to be expensively embarrassed.

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and Sgt. Crowley. Remember how enraged the flag waiving, constitutionalist, law and order folks were after Gates was arrested trying to enter his own home? Good times....

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Oh please. It was Obama inserting himself into the situation calling Cambridge cops doing something "stupid".

I think you knew that.

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...they WERE stupid. And racist.

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Lol

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...for why a black man was arrested in his own home?

By the way, here's the full Obama quote. What exactly is your beef with it?

""I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.""

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be jogging in Georgia.

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What he did and what you said is very different. You might need to be black to understand.

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home and Obama was pilloried by conservatives and made the mistake of caving.
Interestingly, these same conservatives are fine with armed militia threatening police in Michigan, in a "slightly" more aggressive manner than Gates demonstrated, David Dennison labeling the FBI as "corrupt cops", the daily sea of lies and the abandonment of every conservative principal ever proclaimed to further their cult.

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Oh please. It was Obama inserting himself into the situation calling Cambridge cops doing something "stupid".

To this day, I can't understand why Obama told the Cambridge cops to arrest a man who was trying to enter his own home.

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account from that pizza place in DC using the screen name on his Kenyan birth certificate issued by Bin Laden, before the fake moon landing where Bin Laden was killed by falling klieg lights and before Alex Jones could kill Bin Laden and survive the pandemic by "eating his ass".

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Voting closed 5

If I were hiring a police superintendent, I wouldn’t hire anyone who spoke like this in public, period. Yeah, he could use a different name when he decided to spew, but this is not the temperament you want for a person in that position. I don’t care if he’s ranting about libtards or trumptards. You don’t want that worked-up state of mind in a person with a leadership position that important. Now, by mistake, he’s revealed himself and I don’t care if he has worked for 32 years on the job. The rest of the public and the rest of the force know who he is and not just what he believes, it’s how he believes it. He needs to go.

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Voting closed 18

He affirmed that stereotype.

As a government employee he is obligated to be circumspect in what opinions he communicates. He has every right to express his opinions to friends, co-workers and family. But social media - that is SOCIAL - automatically extends beyond friends, co-workers and family.

Perhaps not in Cambridge, but in my experience part of the trade off of a job in public service is to be careful about expressing my opinions under any circumstances. It's not a First Amendment issue however. That's settled law.

How many employers have some kind of ethics or morals clause that addresses actions which cause harm to the employer's reputation. While that can not be an absolute line in the sand some things are just obvious. Gross insults are obvious.

One thing that Albert is wise to do is to close his Twitter account. Since he fails to distinguish between the two he at the least should just shut down his personal account.

But he now gets to deal with the fact that he has communicated to his citizen employers that he is a bigot.

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Probably a burner account that is probably still active.

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He said thug Adam . Better delete! Poser

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Read carefully and you'll notice I wrote "'Stereotype that police are thugs." Do you understand the meaning of the word stereotype? Do you understand that this statement indicates that there exists a stereotype or prejudice that all police are thugs?

In other words that the reality is not the stereotype and therefore just as not all white people are racist not all police are thugs. My guess is that after all is said and done that the majority of both categories of people, at least in urban areas, the reality is that most white people and police are NOT racist or thugs.

But to grasp that logic does require careful reading.

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Voting closed 9

if those tweets are indicative of his attitudes...Then I think having to work in Cambridge is punishment enough. He has GOT to be the most miserable person in the world, because there are few things worse than Cantabrigian liberals. Prolonged exposure to them perhaps turned him into the person he is today. I know just a monthly trip to the book store is enough to make me want to never return.....and yet I always do.....

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Voting closed 7

I think having to work in Cambridge is punishment enough.

I can think of a better one: unemployment, and unemployability, in any police capacity, ever.

Prolonged exposure to them perhaps turned him into the person he is today. I know just a monthly trip to the book store is enough to make me want to never return.....and yet I always do.....

Isn't it cute how personal-responsibility types go all squishy and noodly when it's their ass in the sling?

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IMAGE(https://d21rhj7n383afu.cloudfront.net/washpost-production/The_Washington_Post/20200211/5e425e71c9e77c00010cce55/5e425e79cff47e00090ae574_1450955028646-chsuqu_t_1581407870438_640_360_400.gif)
"I'm sorry, Officer Albert, did I do something wrong?"

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Voting closed 9

I thought of this, too.

That was a good episode, with Jeff getting recognized as Harvey Weinstein, too.

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For years, surveys have shown the media to be very liberal in their personal views. Despite this, journalism experts assure us that reporters have no problem maintaining neutrality in their work. Supt. Albert deserves the same consideration. A police officer never ceases to be a citizen and we shouldn't be surprised that an experienced MA police officer opposes Rep. Kennedy III.

Supt. Albert's harsh but heartfelt comments came around the same time that Kennedy III took the side of illegals who had violently attacked the Bristol County Sheriff. Already here illegally, these detainees committed new felonies, violently trashing the Sheriff's office and assaulting members of US law enforcement. The Cambridge Supt. may have used the wrong handheld device but his feelings are no mistake and are shared by most who cherish the rule of law. As for Kennedy vs. Markey, like the Iran vs. Iraq war, can they both lose?

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Voting closed 9

...has a provel liberal bias.

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