Boston Terror Scare: Gimme A Break

February 1, 2007
posted by darryl ohrt

No doubt you’ve been bombarded by the sensationalist media reports on how one agency’s street campaign blew up – almost literally, in Boston. A full on terror panic was set in motion, all because of some LED lights.

I’m going to side with the agency on this one. Boston overreacted. Big time.

LED graffiti has been around for at least a year now. All over the internet. The pieces displayed on the sensationalist news broadcasts clearly looked like LED street art. Clearly. And now that we ALL know that, it’s irresponsible for the news media to label them “hoax bomb devices.” They aren’t. They never were.

Certainly, the police must take every precaution in this day and age. And the person who first reported the devices to the police was right to do so – as not everyone can be up on the latest graffiti tactics.

But couldn’t a quick inspection by police have identified these devices? Was there nobody on the Boston police force familiar with street art? Or with an understaning of what realexplosive devices look like? Our agency is in a very small city – and our police department has a graffiti task force. They know more about street art than anyone in our agency.

I SWEAR that when I first read the story, as it was developing yesterday, the first thought on my mind was – LED Throwies.

I say hooray for the agency that tried something different. I’m really sorry it turned into such a fiasco. Really sorry. I sincerely hope they come out of this ok.

The “devices” were apparently in nine other cities? Why no “panic” in these cities? Ten minutes of investigation by officials could have prevented a huge fiasco. Shame on the Boston officials who blew this up.


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