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Get off my lawn!
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HYANNIS — A simple errand across town turned into a nightmare situation for Tanya Devine on the afternoon of May 13.

She needed to go to the bank so she took her 18-year-old son, who drove, and her two youngest children, ages 4 and 5, on the errand. On the way to the bank, they picked up one of her older son's teen friends.

On Barnstable Road, as they were passing Cromwell Court apartments, she suddenly saw an onslaught of police cruisers and undercover police cars come her way and surround her car.

The police officers jumped out of their vehicles before her son could even park the car, Devine said. They were screaming “Everybody get your hands out of the window.”

“I was shaking and nervous,” she said. The police encounter had clearly been planned, she said.

As she was about to put her hands out the window, she was afraid the officers might shoot and risk the safety of her children, so Devine grabbed her phone and started to record.

“At first I was scared to record, but I knew I had to in case something happened,” she said.


The police made the stop to arrest her 18-year-old son on a warrant. Cape Cod residents may witness these stops more often because stops at gunpoint have become more prevalent in a case-by-case situation. They are considered more controlled and safer for police officers than serving the warrant at a suspect's home, according to police officials.

Devine's video shows an officer in sunglasses standing with a gun pointed toward the ground, ordering Devine's 18-year-old son to “get out of the car.” Devine is sitting next to him in the front passenger seat of the car, reassuring her young children in the backseat.

Before Devine's son exits the vehicle, according to the video, Devine gets out of the car and asks, “What is the reason for this?”

Police can be heard on the video asking the person recording with their cellphone to get out of the car, and Devine said she thought the command was meant for her.

After George Floyd,other American families whose loved ones were killed by police battle for justice

Surrounding her and her car full of passengers are close to10 police officers and cruisers.

“I’m nervous right now for my life,” Devine says in the video, as police officers ask for her to walk back while three officers in front of her continue to hold their guns up.

A police officer asks for her to get down on her knees as another officer, holding handcuffs, grabs her cellphone. The video ends.

Devine, who is Cape Verdean and Wampanoag and has lived in Hyannis the majority of her life, said she was petrified and it felt like everyone was yelling at her as the police had guns pointed. A few feet away, she could hear her two young children crying hysterically.

Since it was posted on Facebook May 13, Devine’s video has been shared on social media close to 100 times, inciting comments of outrage over how the police conducted this arrest.

The police stop was in connection with an arrest warrant issued that day for Devine's son who is accused of rape, assault and larceny related to an alleged May 2 incident at a Hyannis hotel. Police said they waited until he left his house to arrest him because they said it is less dangerous.

The Barnstable police had a search warrant for Devine's residence, said Barnstable Police Deputy Chief Mark Cabral, and “the best situation to avoid conflict is to make the arrest outside the home.”

Once Devine's son left the residence, he said, the police took the first opportunity they had to arrest him as quickly as possible, which happened at 11:50 a.m.

Cabral characterized the stop as “high risk,” which he said is what police are trained to do for a felony stop.

The Barnstable Police Department policy of “High Risk Stops” describes the situation of an officer having to stop a vehicle containing a person or persons who are suspected of dangerous crimes or who may present a significant risk to the safety of the officer or the public.

Using the “high risk” stop protocol outside a residence is a growing trend on a case-by-case basis among some Cape police departments. Local police leaders say this is influenced in part by what happened to Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon, who was killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a career criminal in a Marstons Mills home in 2018. Later that same year, two Falmouth police officers were shot at and wounded after they entered a house to investigate a reported disturbance.

Every situation is different, said Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson. Every time police officers are faced with executing a search warrant, it is a question of what the police officers are facing and what the investigation entails, he said.

There are a lot of factors and in every incident the police want the situation to end safely, he said. For every warrant, there needs to be probable cause and it has to be sent to the court magistrate to be approved, he said.

Stopping people away from their homes for search warrants is a situational tactic, said Cabral.

“When we are going into a home and we are not wanted and there may be guns, we are going to take drastic situations to avoid (conflict),” Cabral said.

The subject and other subjects associated with the address are known to the Police Department to possibly be armed or at one time have been armed with real firearms, Cabral said. His information was gathered from "street sources" and an Instagram video that he says shows the accused holding an AR15 automatic rifle. There is also a semi-automatic handgun seen in the video.

In the 14-second music video, Devine's a young man can be seen holding up the gun and dancing. The participants are also seen drinking and a small dog is shown in the middle of a dance circle. Devine claims the guns were props for the video.

The Barnstable Police Department did not find any firearms when they searched Devine's house, Cabral said in an email to the Times. No search was conducted of the car, he wrote.

Young children held at gunpoint during 'high risk' stops

Barnstable police do not have a policy related to a traffic stop in which young children are passengers in the car, Cabral said.

In this case, the police were aware that various people, including young children, lived in the suspect's home, he said. The police purposely chose a time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when children are typically away from the home and at school, he said.

“We want the least amount of children around,” Cabral said.

Before the pandemic, Devine said, she worked as a certified nursing assistant. But with a number of small children at home, she said, she had to stay out of work and help with remote learning. About 2 million women left the workforce - many due to issues related to childcare - during the pandemic, according to the National Women's Law Center.

Since the May 13 police stop, Devine said, her youngest children have not stopped talking about what happened. Children, who should be learning to trust police officers, shouldn’t have to go through an experience like this, she said.

Police are expected to keep the public safe and be there when you call with a problem or are scared, said Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, a professor in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

When the police become the people you see threatening others, that is a terrifying situation for children to be in, she said.

Having children witness a violent situation, guns being drawn, or someone they love being forced on the ground with their hands behind their back, by the police, can be very confusing to young children, Gewirtz said.

This situation leaves the 4- and 5-year-old with memories of police officers doing bad things, Gewirtz said.

"We know after kids see violence, unsettling things or are threatened they may experience post-traumatic stress disorder," she said. Some signs include playing out what happened in their play, having nightmares, being clingy when they weren't before, wetting the bed, or being very upset at daycare or school.

"It is important to help children understand in their own 4- and 5-year-old way what happened," Gewirtz said. "Acknowledge that a very scary thing happened."

Having police officers in the community and talking to children helps them understand what their role is, Gewirtz said. It also helps children who have had a bad experience in the past get a different perspective on police officers, she said.

Long-term effects depend on the case, what their home life is like, and further interactions with the police, she said. It has been a difficult year in general, especially for low-income minorities that could add disparities, she said.

"Most kids do recover and most kids with the right support around them can be resilient and recover from this kind of thing, but it depends what other stuff is going on," she said.

Sean Varano, associate professor of criminal justice at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, said this was a high-stakes traffic stop for an alleged serious case. Under those circumstances, until the person in question — in this case, Devine's son — is in custody, all of police training and tactics are to expect the worst-case scenario and hope for the best.

As unfortunate as this situation was, Varano said, the fact that there are passengers poses a heightened caution because each person poses a threat. The police have to do their best not to have any unanticipated victims, he said.

From a tactical point of view, the fact that there are young children in the car doesn't matter, Varano said. But for the young children and every passenger, this is a “traumatic event,” he said.

There is a new emerging study of adverse childhood experiences, which looks at the consequences of that trauma, Varano said. How do these experiences with the police shape children’s reaction to police in general and their attitude to law enforcement in general? he asked.

“Police officers intuitively understand that,” he said. The question is if this kind of traumatic situation might unfairly shape a young children’s attitude to the police, “can we do anything about it? I don’t know the answer to that question.”

In terms of executing the arrest warrant in a traffic stop or at home, there simply is never a “right time,” Varano said.

With each circumstance, the police use their professional judgment and take all of the data they have on that particular circumstance, Varano said.

In this case, the police were aware there were young children living in the home, which could have reinforced why they didn’t want to execute it at the house, he said.

“God forbid something goes wrong." The children could become “unintended targets of the warrant,” he said.

From a legal point of view, it doesn’t matter where the police execute the warrant, Varano said. A judge cannot create a tactical plan, only the police can.

Looking back, was this a reasonable decision? Varano asked. Executing an arrest warrant in a motor vehicle instead of in a home is a common and regular decision that police make, he said.

“If you wait for the perfect scenario — not at night, not too busy, who is in the back seat? — all of a sudden you are never going to execute,” Varano said.

“This is a high-risk warrant,” Varano said, who added that at some point you also need to think about the public’s safety.

Charges of alleged rape and assault

According to Cabral, Devine's son was charged on May 13 with one count of aggravated rape; two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years old or older; one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; assault and battery; and larceny from a building.

A Barnstable District Court Magistrate issued the warrant; Devine's son was arrested at the scene of the car stop and continues to be held without bail. A detention hearing that was scheduled for May 18 has been continued to Tuesday.

The police report is sealed because the nature of the incident involves an alleged rape.

For a detention hearing, the state can file for and hold someone without bail for up to 120 days, said Melissa Hendrie, a lawyer representing Devine's son. At the Tuesday hearing it will be determined if bail will be set, she said.

This case struck Hendrie as “a little weird” because her client is only 18 and was at home prior to his arrest. The stop conducted on a Hyannis street was something she typically sees in high-profile drug cases, she said, when there is a warrant on the house, but they wait for the person to leave before making the arrest.

In this case, the family knew what was going on and were ready and willing to bring him in and make arrangements, Hendrie said. “But that didn’t happen.”

There were other people involved in the incident that the charges are related to, Hendrie said. Her client is the only person arrested for this incident, which she said carries horrendous charges.

“There is a lot more to the story than it seems,” Hendrie said. “It is something we intend to explore during the hearing.”

Devine declined to talk about her son’s case, saying she was asked by her lawyer to refrain from commenting. However, she did say, “I think there is a lot of wrong-doing.”

How police reacted to Devine

“The men and women of the Barnstable Police Department used great care in the planning and execution of this operation,” Cabral wrote in a statement. “The ultimate goal was to make the arrest and complete our search warrant without any injuries and any additional arrests. Our officers did an unbelievable job when faced with a very difficult situation and handled it professionally.”

When the car was pulled over, the police officers ordered Devine's son and another teenager of similar height and build to exit the vehicle, Cabral said. While they were ordering them out, Devine, “burst out of the car and started to advance towards the officers,” he said.

A police officer can be heard on the video asking the person with a cellphone in the back of the car to get out. In the confusion, Devine said she thought the officer was talking to her so she got out of the car.

It is standard procedure to freeze the scene and detain the person until the situation is under control, Cabral said, adding the police never intended to pull Devine out of the vehicle.

She was handcuffed for a few minutes while this was happening, he said.

In an interview on Friday, Devine described being handcuffed, putting her hands behind her head and going down on her knees. The police let her go sometime after so she could take care of the children. She eventually got her cellphone back after some resistance, she said.

“I was shaken,” Devine said. “My kids were nervous.”

She said that when she got back into the car, she couldn’t find her keys. She said she asked the police officers to hand them back, but they didn’t.

About 15 minutes later, the police came back, she said, saying that they found them and that the keys must have been lost in the shuffle. She suspects the delay in getting her keys was so she wouldn’t be home when police searched her house.

When she did arrive home, police didn’t initially let her inside, Devine said. She began to record the scene with her phone and a few minutes later, the police were gone.

Devine described this experience with police as “very scary and very unfortunate.”

“I don’t see any reason to serve an arrest warrant with children when they had plenty of chances to do it at a home. No reason for it,” she said. “Something could have easily gone wrong. Someone could have lost their life.”
 

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I gave up reading when they got to the expert discussing how children are traumatized by police. Ummm...... you know how you keep your 4 & 5 year old kids from being "traumatized" by police doing their jobs? Kick your dirt bag 18 year old out and don't let them ride in his car. So much wrong in the half of the article I did read, so little time.
 

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“I was so terrified that instead of complying I decided to argue, get out of the car against orders, and dig around to retrieve a small dark object from inside the car and hold it in my hand, pointed at the officers”.

Yeah, okay. Maybe if your kid wasn’t a fucking rapist who runs around with guns, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.
 

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HYANNIS — A simple errand across town turned into a nightmare situation for Tanya Devine on the afternoon of May 13.

As she was about to COMPLY and put her hands out the window, SHE RISKED the safety of her own children, by instead grabbing her phone and started to record.

Devine's video shows an officer in sunglasses standing with a gun pointed toward the ground, ordering Devine's 18-year-old son to “get out of the car.” Devine is sitting next to him in the front passenger seat of the car, reassuring her young children in the backseat.

Before Devine's son exits the vehicle, according to the video, Devine gets out of the car and puts her children at more risk by verbally challenging officers.

In terms of executing the arrest warrant in a traffic stop or at home, there simply is never a “right time,” Varano said.

“If you wait for the perfect scenario — not at night, not too busy, who is in the back seat? — all of a sudden you are never going to execute,” Varano said.

“This is a high-risk warrant,” Varano said, who added that at some point you also need to think about the public’s safety.

Charges of alleged rape and assault

According to Cabral, Devine's son was charged on May 13 with one count of aggravated rape; two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years old or older; one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; assault and battery; and larceny from a building.

How police reacted to Devine

“The men and women of the Barnstable Police Department used great care in the planning and execution of this operation,” Cabral wrote in a statement. “The ultimate goal was to make the arrest and complete our search warrant without any injuries and any additional arrests. Our officers did an unbelievable job when faced with a very difficult situation and handled it professionally.”

When the car was pulled over, the police officers ordered Devine's son and another teenager of similar height and build to exit the vehicle, Cabral said. While they were ordering them out, Devine, “burst out of the car and started to advance towards the officers,” he said.

Devine described this experience with police as “very scary and very unfortunate.”

“I don’t see any reason to serve an arrest warrant with children when they had plenty of chances to do it at a home. No reason for it,” she said. “Something could have easily gone wrong. Someone could have lost their life.” Especially based on her non compliance and sudden movements
Best part was the reference to George Floyd and the families that have lost loved ones to the police. Activists and organizations alike, are influencing otherwise innocent folks to believe they have a right to escalate situations and even illegally confront officers in the lawful performance of their duties. This is going to get ugly because misplaced anger and disinformation has replaced common sense among the citizenry.
 

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“Welch said that he found Williams to be considered “very dangerous.” Since there are conflicting witness statements, however, he decided to put Williams on a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and place him on house arrest under his mother’s custody.”


Released on a bracelet. What a fucking joke.
 

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“Welch said that he found Williams to be considered “very dangerous.” Since there are conflicting witness statements, however, he decided to put Williams on a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and place him on house arrest under his mother’s custody.”


Released on a bracelet. What a fucking joke.
I'm sure mom will do a bang up job keeping an eye on him.
 

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Let’s focus on how the police can do THEIR jobs better. Not how your son shouldn’t be out committing aggravated rape. That’s a good lesson for the family.
 
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