Earlier this month, a Boston police officer went massively viral for taking a tumultuous tumble down a playground slide at Government Center—in full uniform, in broad daylight, with his gun still strapped to his belt. The slide has since become a sensation for visiting adults, which also led to its brief arrest. Yes, the slide.
The incident report, which redacts the victim's name and age, notes that the police officer "was assigned to work a special event at City Hall Plaza when he struck his head and right arm."
The report does not explain what the officer was doing at the time, nor does it use the word "slide," though it does note the "OFFENSE LOCATION" as a "Park/Playground." The report also claims a "suspect" whose first and last name are "UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN." It is unclear whether this refers to the slide itself, to an unknown fugitive, or is merely a required field on the report. The Boston Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
The incident report goes on to note that there was no "suspected drug use" or "suspected alcohol consumption," and that the incident was not a "suspected hate crime."
You can click through for the full report. While it's not wildly scandalous or revelatory on its own, it is a good example of how the bureaucratic language of policing is deliberately designed to use the illusion of objectivity in order to obfuscate power and responsibility. To the credit of the reporting officer, Stephen Canto, I am frankly impressed that he acknowledged that the officer "struck his head and right arm," rather than the typical passive-voiced "his head and right arm were struck." Of course, in this case, the latter would have ceded a whole lot of power to the slide. Of course, that reporting officer has also been the subject of several sustained Internal Affairs investigations and brings home $150,000 a year while living in the town of Weymouth, rather than the city of Boston, as required.