Boston police released surveillance video

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Boston police released surveillance video

Lara, 33, is charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing injury to a child under 14 and other charges including operating a motor vehicle after license suspension and speeding.

The city councilman who represents Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury was arraigned on Wednesday, at which point she pleaded not guilty to all charges. The court released her on personal recognizance, but ordered Lara not to drive without a license. The next court hearing is scheduled for August 16.

On a “clear and dry” afternoon on June 30, police said Lara drove a Honda Civic down Center Street during rush hour at twice the speed limit, going at least 53 miles per hour with her 7-year-old son in the back seat.

Body camera footage shows the aftermath of the crash, including footage of the Civic driving against the home after going through a fence.

The video is muted in parts during which people’s personal or medical information is discussed, and the faces of many witnesses, including the man Lara claims she swerved to avoid, are blurred out. There’s a few minutes of an interview with Lara in the back of an ambulance that’s completely blurry but has clear audio.

During this part of the video, a tearful Lara identifies herself by first and last name.

“He stepped in front of me and I swerved,” Lara tells police in the video. She said the other car “pulled out right in front of me.”

The policeman asks, “Do you have your license?”

“No, no, no,” the city councilor replies, offering to get it later.

Police said Lara has not had a valid Massachusetts driver’s license since 2013, when she was pulled over after failing to pay a ticket for not wearing a seat belt.

The man in the other car — he tells police in the video it’s his wife’s car — repeated, “I barely got out … I barely got out at all.”

An investigator noted in the report that “no evidence of braking was observed” by the vehicle Lara was driving, according to photos from the scene.

The crash sent Lara’s son to Boston Children’s Hospital, where he received several stitches. One investigator noted that numerous blood stains were visible in the car after the crash.

Police contacted the state Department of Children and Families because Lara’s son was riding in the back seat without a booster seat, which is required for children under 8 or who are under 57 inches tall, according to the police report.

In the aftermath of the crash, Lara apologized to voters on July 8.

“We are all responsible for our actions and I am no different, so I offer my sincerest apologies to everyone, especially the people of District 6,” Lara, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, said in a statement. “As an elected official, I have worked hard to put the dignity and humanity of my constituents at the center. Today I’m asking you to see mine as I work to fix my mistake.

Following her arraignment, Lara said she was “committed to seeing this process through.” She said she plans to continue representing District 6.

Lara’s attorney, Carlton E. Williams, objected to the characterization of how fast she was driving, saying the idea that someone could estimate speed to fractions of a mile per hour “seems hard to imagine.”

The rest of the CCTV footage includes eight minutes that show one of the officers from the scene going to Children’s Hospital to check on Lara and her son. The officer tells Lara — and then former councilman Felix G. Arroyo, a longtime friend of Lara’s who was at the hospital with her—that he wanted to check on the welfare of two people in the crash and that Lara should contact her or the precinct the next day.

The footage also includes police speaking with a woman who identified herself as the owner of the home Lara crashed into. The woman says she is 83 years old and just wants to know “if everyone is OK.”

“Thank God it’s not worse,” she told an officer as police advised her on how to proceed with her insurance company. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Staff writer John Hilliard contributed.


Sean Cotter can be reached at sean.cotter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @cotterreporter.



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