I was off the clock after midnight, but I still stuck around the downtown because I owed a beer to a friend of mine who wasn’t having the best day. I also kinda wanted to see how things turned out: St. Patrick’s on a Saturday with two concerts downtown?
Walking home about 2 a.m., we came across this scene on Merrimack Street, where several men were yelling as they were arrested by about a half-dozen officers near Palmer Street.
I’m not sure what they were accused of, and since I had some drinks I didn’t ask. I don’t believe in asking questions or doing much of any reporting if I’m under the influence in any way. It seems disrespectful to me.
But I also couldn’t walk past something like this without snapping a few photos and observing for a bit. I keep a camera in my pocket literally anytime I have pants on, and this is pretty much why.
The young man pictured above and below had been yelling and refusing to listen to police for quite some time before he was wrestled to the ground. At one point on the ground, I thought things might get awkward because he yelled that he was a veteran. So are many Lowell Police officers.
But, instead of saying shutup, an officer calmly said “thank you for service sir,” and then once again asked him to calm down.
He and several other guys were taken away in the wagon.
Police will almost always meet force with force, but they don’t always meet anger with anger. Sometimes it’s remarkable how calm I see officers remain even as they scuffle and fight.
After this, I got my gear from the office, and walked home from downtown over the bridge on a nice night. I have a feeling a lot of folks who went through the checkpoint wish they had done the same.
UPDATE: Superintendent Lavallee tells me there were 14 drunken driving arrests at the checkpoint, and one arrest for operating without a license. On Monday, I’ll be getting a list of those arrested.