SWAT Raid Triggered by Calls From the Public
Officers employed flash grenades and loudspeakers.
If Friday’s raid at 87 Cambridge Street is any indication, telling the police about consistent problems can lead to swift and significant action.
Around 5:01 a.m. Thursday, Boston SWAT officers detonated “distraction devices”—which use a bright flash and loud bang to disorient the occupants of a room—before storming into the structure and shouting “Boston Police search warrant.”
Outside, officers blasted a variation of that message from the speakers of their vehicles.
The raid found 14 people potentially involved in drug dealing and prostitution. By the end of the day, officers would recover drugs, money and drug paraphernalia—and six people would plead not guilty on charges relating to the raid—but it all started with calls from the public.
“In early May, the A-1 Drug Control Unit received multiple community complaints regarding drug and prostitution activity in and around 87 Cambridge Street in Charlestown,” the report detailing the raid began.
Following those calls, the report said, police began an investigation. Officers watched the building “on several occasions” and observed many people “coming and going freely” as well as employing “counter-surveillance tactics.”
Eventually, officers applied for the “no knock” search warrant that allowed the SWAT team to rush into the building unannounced.