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Suffolk DA releases list of police officers charged with crimes or misconduct

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins last night released a list of 135 Boston, State, Chelsea and MBTA police officers and one IRS agent who have been accused of crimes or misconduct that might possibly affect the evidence or testimony they supplied for criminal cases.

Many of the cases involve alleged overtime abuse, including by nine officers at the BPD evidence warehouse who were only recently charged. Other allegations range from rape and child rape to assault and battery, stealing, larceny during execution of a search warrant to OUI; some of the cases have been adjudicated or the officers are now retired.

The DA's office sent out the list and a statement by Rollins after 8 p.m. last night. Friday nights are traditionally a time for agencies and companies to release news they seek to minimize. But in her statement, Rollins said it's important for the public - and for defense attorneys - to see the list:

If testimony provided by prosecution witnesses is suspect then the criminal legal system itself is suspect. All of us in law enforcement must be beyond reproach because what we do impacts matters of life, death, and freedom for the general public.

The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers and employees in Suffolk County are dedicated and compassionate professionals who provide exemplary service to the communities they serve. The database is not voluminous, but the actions of the officers within LEAD are harmful, or potentially harmful to the community and the criminal legal system. When the credibility of law enforcement is in question, all participants in the system – and the public – should be aware of that. The people of Suffolk County deserve to know that the public officials they rely on for their safety are truly invested in it. Anything less is a betrayal of their trust and our obligation to serve.

CommonWealth Magazine has more.

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Comments

They should be exposed like anyone else accused or convicted of a crime.

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If an officer can't be trusted to testify at trial, they shouldn't be an officer anymore. This isn't complicated. It's shocking such a list even needs to exist.

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57

They also can’t do their job if they can’t testify at trial. Fire these criminals.

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37

They shouldn't be exposed, they should be fired

They are nice and cozy with public employee unions and allow these contracts which no private company would ever agree to, and when stuff like this happen they all talk tough, but when the next contract is being negotiated they do nothing.

Well paid Teachers, Police and Firefighters with very little oversight is the bed they've made

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22

"Charged," not "Tried and Convicted."

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18

If I went to work on Monday and told my supervisor I was charged with fraud, domestic abuse, or anything else serious I'd likely be fired. At the very least I'd be suspended without pay until the conclusion of the trial. Even if my supervisors think I'm innocent, they don't want someone associated with the company who has that hanging over their head.

Yet for police, the rules are different. That's a problem.

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24

and say that your supervisor shouldn't assume guilt without a conviction. Suspension *with* pay until the conclusion of the trial might be reasonable if the charges are for something relevant for your job, although it can be so long before the trial date (and oh god any appeals, etc.) that I'm really not sure how often that would be applicable.

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Once upon a time, people were presumed innocent until convicted at a trial. Unfortunate that Rollins disagrees with that.

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45

Employment is a civil matter, not a criminal one. The standards are not the same. The only reason why these people have not been fired is due to contractual agreements that should have never been signed. In most other jobs, your employer can terminate your employment for almost any reason with "incompetence" being at the top of the list.

Being fired is not the same as going to jail. It's not even a blacklist from holding other jobs.

I would rather 10 good cops wrongly loose their jobs than one bad cop remain in a position of authority. I suspect most people would agree.

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46

Union contracts didn’t cause this. Did you read the whole article? Overtime fraud isn’t possible unless the manager is in on it or incompetent. Boston police vehicles have had gps since 2003.

With members of public unions is notoriously difficult.
The Unions seem to have more power than the Mayor.

It's a win-win for the police: Cheat the system and make money. If you get caught, you just claim it was your supervisor's fault, and you make money while being on "desk duty".

chiefs aren't part of the union. This kind of fraud isn't possible without their help or total incompetence.

Many have authored articles about how their hands are tied due do to stupid contracts they have no power over.

Regardless, BOTH the cops and their supervisors can be to blame. Not being caught is not a justification to commit fraud.

every bad employee was trained to be bad by an incompetent manager, who turns around and whines I can't do anything. I can't fire anyone.

Civil Service protects more bad cops than unions could ever dream of. (There have also been fired cops that I know of who aren’t on that list)

Are you aware that for people to appear on this list there's already been an internal investigation? Rollins didn't draw these names out of a hat.

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The presumption of innocence means that if someone is accused of a crime, the government can't withhold evidence that might help them. Whether the people testifying against them are honest is absolutely relevant here.

If and when those cops are in fact prosecuted, they will have the same right to evidence in their favor. "This person may be lying, don't use their testimony" isn't a punishment.

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Once again...Rollins did not release the list publicly til WBUR had the state supervisor of records side with them that under MA law they needed to provide it. This isn't some attempt by Rollins to slander people. It was an internal document of police that can't testify because of credibility issues. The same people screaming about how horrible this is will be screaming at how they let all the criminals get away if Rollins office tried to put a cop from the list on the stand and a defense attorney gets the whole case thrown out based on the cop's background.

Puritan values of shame and public humiliation return to Boston. Bring back the stocks in the Boston Common.

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When you're not trustworthy, you get canned.

The people on the list are accused of things so serious they can't be used to testify before a trial. At that point, what purpose do they serve as police?

People need to stop conflating being fired with being incarcerated.

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What good does exposing them do? So the mob can harass them and their family for eternity? Why not just fire them?

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27

Is this one of those “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes” scenarios? I like that phrase.

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Not surprised a republican is against people being educated. This list is an important resource so people can defend themselves from corrupt cops in a court of law for instance.

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Not everyone can be as well educated and wise as you. PhD is it? Not surprised of your bigot comment about Republicans being dumb.

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Rollins didn't want to release the list publicly. WBUR had to request it from the state supervisor of records and eventually they sided with WBUR. This isn't some attempt to slander people, it's journalists trying to do their job of investigating. Police are public employees who are paid by taxes and therefore should be held up to public scrutiny.

When the conversation goes to "defunding the police," this is a good place to start. I'd think a lot of good cops would agree.

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First of all, these lists exist all over the country, and have for quite some time. Second of all, DA Rollins fought against releasing the list; kudos to WBUR for fighting for the public records.

It's my view that if a police officer is convicted of an offense that lands him on this list, he should be terminated, not be allowed to work in law enforcement in Massachusetts, and his name should be available to departments in other states so they can avoid hiring an untrustworthy officer. I can't help but think how hard it must be to convict a police officer, given all the ways that the thin blue line might protect him.

If the case is "pending" -- internally and/or in the courts -- you probably can't fire the officer. I know it can be done for private employers, but this is one where I think you limit the officer to work where he is less likely to have to testify.

And yes, these lists should be 100 percent public. And yes, every freaking parking ticket written by one of these officers should be contested. Make the legal system own this absurd reality over and over again.

Why not release a list of all people, including juveniles, charged with crimes or misconduct? For the good of the community of course.

...if this list includes Pepper Jack Danilecki.