BOSTON (WHDH) - Community activists are speaking up after a police officer was pricked by a hypodermic needle during a cleanup effort at Clifford Park in Roxbury over the weekend.
“Not one, not two, several packages of needles,” activist Domingos DaRosa said in a video as he looked over discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia.
DaRosa, a Pop Warner football coach, has repeatedly documented and continually complained about the needles littering Clifford Park.
7NEWS traveled with DaRosa and his team in 2021 as his team picked up dirty needles so they could play on a field, only to find the conditions were too dangerous, forcing the team to relocate their practices.
“We, as a community, we’re making phone calls, sending emails, and trying to be proactive, (but) we get little to no response until someone is actually injured,” DaRosa told 7NEWS.
Such an injury happened over the weekend when a Boston Police officer was injured during a volunteer cleanup effort, pricked by a needle on his foot.
While the park does have a box designated for needle disposal, instead of throwing out needles there, locals said users have been leaving them on the ground throughout the park.
DaRosa said the discarded needles, in addition to pop-up tents, trash and bad behavior in general, may stem from Mass Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard, where individuals were pushed off the streets there, only to relocate by Clifford Park and the surrounding area.
“I look at the ground a lot when I’m walking through here, I really do,” said Ponch Kincade, who told 7NEWS he likes to work out at the park. “But you see all kinds of things, things that shouldn’t be there, not in a park.”
On Monday, a group from Harvard University cleared away garbage in the park area, and since the weekend incident, City Councilor Erin Murphy, who organized the cleanup, said she has filed an order to get extra attention for the area.
“It’s all hands on deck, and if we really do mean that this community deserves what every other community in this city has, then we need to show up and just start working,” Murphy said.
The city also plans on having police check out Clifford Park more often, while having maintenance crews sweep and clean up the area.
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