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‘Heartbreaking’ scene on Boston streets as police destroy wheelchairs belonging to homeless residents

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“Can we all agree that it is inhumane and cruel and a waste of resources to crush the wheelchairs of people who are living on the street after a car accident in a full body cast?”

Police in Boston Tuesday night reportedly destroyed three wheelchairs belonging to homeless city residents in a garbage truck compactor as part of a crackdown targeting the city’s transient population.

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“Operation Clean Sweep” began August 2 after a county corrections officer was allegedly struck during a fight involving a number of people on “Methadone Mile,” a stretch of the city near Massachusetts Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard where there are a number of clinics and treatment centers. The area has a high homeless population, many of whom have been the target of the operation in the five days and counting it has continued.

The destruction of the wheelchairs is only the latest incident involving the trashing of the possessions of homeless people in the operation.

One of the destroyed wheelchairs was reportedly confiscated from a man named Jarrod who was hit by a car last month.

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“It was heartbreaking to speak with Jarrod, who lost not only his wheelchair, but everything he owns that he keeps in his backpack,” said homeless advocate Cassie Hurd.

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Hurd told Boston Magazine that Jarrod’s wheelchair was taken after he left it “for a minute” in spite of pleas from his partner to police.

“He is not able to be mobile without it, and not having a home, nowhere to sit, nowhere to go, and was having pain,” said Hurd of Jarrod. “He couldn’t really balance or walk.”

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A viral image of the wheelchairs being destroyed made its way across social media Wednesday, generating outrage.

The police behavior was “cartoon evil,” tweeted media reporter Adam Johnson, who also noted the largely unmentioned historical significance of the operation.

“Mass removing homeless people (e.g. human beings) and calling it ‘operation clean sweep’ (the obvious implication being said human beings are trash) is genocidal rhetoric and it’s disturbing no one in Boston government or media feels the need to point this out,” saidJohnson.

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Journalist Miles Howard questioned whether the images would have any effect on the future of the operation.

“The questions at the heart of #OperationCleanSweep are whether there’s dignity in being human (I believe there is) and whether government should honor that intrinsic dignity (I believe it should),” tweeted Howard. “[Boston Mayor Marty Walsh] has chosen to treat the homeless as subhuman trash. What do you think?”

Court Watch Massachusetts appealed to the better nature of Bostonians.

“Can we all agree that it is inhumane and cruel and a waste of resources to crush the wheelchairs of people who are living on the street after a car accident in a full body cast?” the group tweeted.

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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