Everyone has read countless stories about the horrors of addiction, but a video taken in one of the aisles of a Family Dollar store in Lawrence on Sunday morning makes the horror real.
The video shows a 36-year-old woman passed out on the floor of what appears to be the toy aisle as her terrified toddler tries to wake her. The crying toddler, wearing Frozen footie pajamas, tugs her mother’s arm, pulls her hair, and shakes her head, all to no avail. A man who identifies himself as a friend of the woman comes into the picture and tries to wake her, again to no avail.
As the scene unfolds, the store manager taking the phone video doesn’t move. A store clerk, who called 911, later says the manager was taking the video for “protection.”
Paramedics eventually arrive and the video ends, but the drama is only beginning. The paramedics administer two doses of Narcan, a drug that reverses opiate overdoses. A Lawrence police officer looking for identification finds drug paraphernalia in the women’s pocketbook.
Yet the woman herself “said she was just tired and dozed off,” according to the police report.
Both the mother and daughter were taken to Lawrence General Hospital. No charges have been filed against the mother, who lives in Salem, New Hampshire. But police officials say the circumstances of the arrest will be shared with the Department of Children and Families.
The Eagle-Tribune, in a note accompanying the video, said staffers held lengthy discussions about whether to air the video, which blurred out the face of the toddler. “We used the video because we believe it illustrates what police say they witness everyday: the human side of the opiate crisis; the real impact on victims, their loved ones, law enforcement officials, firefighters, paramedics, and our society at large,” the newspaper said.
A new report from Boston officials indicates the number of opioid-related deaths is down slightly so far this year, and the use of Narcan is up 25 percent.
Gov. Charlie Baker defends the hiring of his former campaign driver as director of the state’s environmental police. (Boston Herald)
Gateway Cities are crafting new identities. (WBUR)
New Bedford city councilors are considering a proposed ban on the public use of marijuana, similar to a prohibition on drinking alcohol in public, in case the referendum to legalize it in Massachusetts passes. (Standard-Times)
A Revere businessman is seeking monetary damages in court over the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s no-bid awarding of rights to the Boston Red Sox to block off and use Yawkey Way on game days. (Boston Herald)
A Herald editorial pans a proposed Boston city ordinance that would restrict employers’ ability to perform credit checks as part of their hiring process.
In the wake of a Globe story on Boston’s extortion-like process for securing neighborhood support of development projects, Jeff Jacoby says we could learn something from Houston, which has no zoning code. (Boston Globe)
President Obama made his final address at the United Nations, giving an ominous warning of what the world could look like if Donald Trump was his successor without mentioning the GOP candidate by name. (U.S. News & World Report)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren unloads on Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at a Senate hearing, charging him with “gutless leadership” and saying he should resign over a massive account fraud scheme carried out under his watch. (Boston Globe)
Twenty-one states sue the Obama administration over new overtime rules. Massachusetts is not among them. (Governing)
The Sunlight Foundation, which seeks greater transparency in government, couldn’t find a new chief with a bold vision for the organization and is considering merging with another group.
Donald Trump, who has made the Clinton Foundation a focus of his campaign, apparently used more than a quarter-million dollars from his charity to settle lawsuits against his for-profit business. (Washington Post) The Trump campaign denies the allegation, and says there was no “intent or motive” to make illegal payments. (The Hill)
Donald Trump Jr. is under fire after tweeting a meme comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles that include some that are poisoned, a takeoff on a similar white supremacist meme about M&Ms and Muslims. (New York Times)
Sheldon Adelson, the Dorchester-born casino billionaire who was the largest donor to GOP candidates in the last election, has rebuffed pleas from the Trump campaign and made minimal contributions to PACs supporting the Republican nominee. (New York Times)
Russian-Americans are baffled by Trump’s embrace of strongman Vladimir Putin. (Boston Globe)
Foes of the charter school ballot question are frustrated that Sen. Elizabeth Warren won’t get off the fence and join them. (Politico)
Column charter wars: Esquire’s Charlie Pierce ripped the pro-charter ballot effort and this supportive column by New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait. Chait pens a column in response saying Pierce doesn’t really know what he’s talking about and that he lobs charges without any evidence to back them.
A proponent and opponent debate the ballot question that would require sale of cage-free eggs in the state and more humane treatment of pigs and cows. (Boston Globe)
Police are searching for a man who jilted investors in Quincy believe is the lawyer who disappeared 20 years ago in Florida after scamming more than $100 million and who may have absconded with $2 million in money from people he befriended who planned to buy and fix up the former Beachcomber lounge in Wollaston. (Patriot Ledger)
A Westport auto dealer that became infamous after a video went viral of employees harassing and being rude to a pizza delivery man has been ordered to cease selling unsafe cars by a judge after a suit by the attorney general’s office claimed it sold refused to honor warranties, failed to provide legal documents, and threatened customers. (Herald News)
State education commissioner Mitchell Chester was booed during a public hearing on charter schools in Brockton and the jeering got even louder when he spoke about a new charter school approved in the city that was forced to open 22 miles away in Norwood. (The Enterprise)
Richard Whitmire explores why Boston’s charter schools are considered the best in the country. (CommonWealth)
The state has shut down a Nantucket preschool over allegations the staff failed to provide care for two injured children and then lied about the incident. (Cape Cod Times)
Nurses at Steward Health Care’s Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill say the facility is understaffed and they are caring for twice as many patients as they should. (Eagle-Tribune)
An unidentified Suffolk County resident in his 70s is being treated for the third confirmed case of West Nile virus in the state so far this year. (Patriot Ledger)
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates weight loss could actually be hindered by wearing an activity tracker. (New York Times)
Could the Chinese-owned CRRC railcar plant in Springfield land more business if the MBTA decided to replace all of its Red Line cars? The answer is yes, but the question is way premature. (Masslive)
Marcela Garcia decries the move by the MBTA to squeeze savings from low-paid janitors. (Boston Globe)
Two former marine research collaborators are now battling over competing shark studies off the coast of Massachusetts. (Cape Cod Times)
The Supreme Judicial Court has tossed out the gun conviction against a black man from Boston, saying police had no business stopping him because racial profiling could be as much a reason for him to walk away as any “consciousness of guilt.” The unanimous ruling orders police to consider race when performing “field interrogation and observations.” (Associated Press)
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans defended an off-duty officer who was captured on cellphone video this spring in a physical confrontation with a pedestrian on a Back Bay street, announcing he will face no significant penalties for his actions. (Boston Globe) The officer, Edward Barrett, will be cited for use of foul language, and uniformed officers who arrived at the scene failed to summon a sergeant, as required by department rules. (Boston Herald)
A Brockton man pushing his infant daughter in a grocery cart abandoned her when he fled police who were responding to a drug call. (The Enterprise)