Boston Police Turn To YouTube For Clues In Roxbury Bus Crash

By Megan O'Neill Comment

YouTube seems to have become a standard for fighting crime and solving mysteries.  The Philly Police launched a new YouTube crime fighting initiative, Video Villains, earlier this year, security cam footage is helping the cops to ID thieves, and now the Boston Police Department is analyzing YouTube video footage of the aftermath of an MBTA crash that happened earlier this week, pinning a passenger under the bus.

According to the Boston Herald, the MBTA crash happened on Monday and was said to have been caused when the driver was attacked, after asking several young men who were smoking on the bus to put out their cigarettes.  When the bus driver called for police help he said, “I got a situation I need to deal with right away…I got a couple of unruly passengers.  I got a couple of kids smoking cigarettes.”  Moments later he said, “I was assaulted.  Got knocked out.  Got my head smashed into the window.  I’m still at the same location.  There’s a kid with his foot underneath the bus.  About 10 of these kids jumped me.”

A passenger also called 911.  She told them, “He’s being assaulted by a bunch of teenagers on the bus…They were hitting them.  I left the bus because they were smoking.  I have asthma.”

But according to an interview with Boston’s WCVB TV, the passenger that was pinned against a building by the bus says that it was no accident and that the bus driver intentionally pinned him against the building.  This is a very different story than investigators and police had told of the driver being the victim.

Because of the confusion and chaos surrounding the incident, police have turned to a YouTube video, uploaded by an onlooker shortly after the event.  According to the Boston Herald, a police source said, “We are certainly taking a good, hard look at that video and others.”

The description on the video above says, the “Bus driver asked a smoker to get off the bus and when they got off the bus driver kept talking smack which then led to a fight, then the crash.”  The video was uploaded from the YouTuber’s phone.  Without this video, police would only have witness statements to go on.  Now they at least have a little bit of insight into what went down directly after the crash.

While the Boston Herald article did not specifically point to this video as that which they are analyzing, it does seem, as they say, to illustrate “the chaotic aftermath of Monday’s MBTA bus crash”, and it is a good example of how witnesses these days are taking it upon themselves to take footage at the scenes of crimes, accidents, protests and other events.  What do you think about the use of such videos as police evidence?  Scroll down and let us know in the comments.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.