Barrage of gunfire leaves Dorchester girl shot in leg

Boston Police report the girl, 12, was in her Whitman Street home around 8:30 p.m. on Monday when a bullet pierced the wall and struck her.

Police say the shooter may be one of several males spotted running from the rear parking lot of Dorchester High School and then getting into a late-model brown Cadillac that drove on Edson Street toward Norfolk Street. The city's ShotSpotter system detected the sound of gunfire about that time on Edson Street, police say, adding that several vehicles and homes suffered bullet damage during the onslaught.

The girl was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment and is expected to recover.

"I am outraged by the cowardice demonstrated by the violent individuals responsible for this senseless act, Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "Their total disregard for human life resulted in a tragic injury to a child."

People with information can contact detectives at (617) 343-4712 or call the anonymous tips line at 1-800-494-TIPS (or by texting TIP to 27463.

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    Comments

    OUTRAGED!

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    Davis: "Why, I'm OUTRAGED. So OUTRAGED, I'm going to SHAKE MY FIST at you DASTARDLY VILLAINS! Don't make me GET OUT OF MY CHAIR!"

    Right, right. Because

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    Right, right. Because outrage is for cops who arrest loudmouths, not for thugs who shoot little girls. What's the over-under on how many witnesses cooperate with this investigation?

    I would prefer he actually held BPD Homicide to some standards

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    http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/...

    The Phoenix called BPD Homicide "the worst homicide unit in the nation"- they have both a huge unsolved rate and a large number of "well, he's young and black, that's a good enough suspect" cases.

    The only reason the murder rate has gone down is because these idiots aren't very good at actually hitting each other, and Boston EMS / area hospitals do an amazing job at saving these kids lives.

    This article about homicides

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    This article about homicides is dated August 19, 2005. Davis was appointed commissioner on October 23, 2006. What's that got to do with Whitman Street?

    we'll never know what happened afterwards...

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    ...because there haven't been released stats since about how many arrests and unsolved murders there have been.

    I highly doubt unsolved murders have dropped.

    Did you mean to say that no

    Did you mean to say that no one's affirmed your grudge against the Homicide Unit since then?

    Since you are the expert on the public payroll who speaks for the DA, you should at least make a compelling argument that the person does in fact have deep-seated animosity or ill-feeling about the Homicide Unit before which you assert as fact, "your grudge."

    What you imply is that their criticism is personal and not reasonable, so its incumbent on you to make the case. You might do better commenting on the facts and not on the people who make assertions, especially people who post anonymously on blogs. You judgment of them is based on very little information and you are bound to be incorrect some of the time, which reflects badly on your office and your professionalism.

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    RTFA

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    Specifically, most of page 2. BPD routinely settled on proving the nearest black young guy nearby 'did it.'

    Sure thing, Anon. It's just

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    Sure thing, Anon. It's just that you used the present tense and this seems to be a four-year-old article citing cases from four years before that.

    With regard to those cases mentioned on page two, Cordell Jones admitted his own guilt in Sydney Pope's homicide rather than face a second trial. A jury found Demond Chatman guilty of murder, apparently believing the evidence that the author says was not enough to convict him. (And why does he say it wasn’t enough? Well, he suggests that investigators’ theory of the case was out of whack because of a witness who claimed to have spoken to the victim after prosecutors said she had to have been dead. What he doesn’t say is that the witness claimed to have spoken to the victim’s “spirit.”)

    Another case on page two, that of Giress Dianswecki, is described as being “without any direct evidence, witnesses, or motive,” when in fact there were all three – a percipient witness, Dianswecki’s own dying declaration identifying the defendant as his killer, and a prior dispute between the defendant and the victim. The case may not have ended with the verdict we sought, but it’s simply untrue to state that it had no evidentiary foundation.

    Cases such as Donnell Johnson's 14 years ago are the reason that Suffolk prosecutors and Boston Police have adopted policies that lead the nation in averting potential wrongful convictions – policies lauded by no less an authority than the Innocence Project’s Barry Scheck. It's the reason we pushed for -- and ultimately were forced to fund on our own -- a second grand jury, unprecedented in Massachusetts, to check and corroborate the evidence as extensively as possible prior to trial (and many times prior to arrest) in homicide cases without paralyzing the other 40,000+ criminal cases that are investigated in Suffolk County each year.

    No one at the district attorney's office will forget Donnell Johnson’s case, and I doubt anyone at BPD will, either. I think you -- and the author -- do his ordeal a grave disservice when you equate his case with those of James Bush, Marquis Nelson, and Kyle Bryant, however.

    With regard to Ivan Hodge and the Tacary Jones case, I think the author's wording here gives his whole biased gig away when he says "the Commonwealth has charged another young man with the shooting, and reduced the charges against Hodge." The author states categorically that “Hodge did not do it” and credits a witness who came forward to Hodge’s defense attorney and not police.

    Without double-checking, what do you think that means? Presumably, that Hodge was charged with gun possession or something and "another young man" was charged with Jones' murder, right? Because, without explicitly saying it, that's clearly the author's implication.

    That implication is incorrect. Both Hodge and his co-defendant, O'Neil Francis, were indicted for first-degree murder and both were convicted of second-degree murder for Jones' fatal shooting.

    This whole article is full of similar half-truths and just-barely-not-lies. When he isn't taking investigators to task for moving too slowly on a case, the author accuses them of moving too quickly. Each acquittal is held up as an example of a defendant’s innocence, and each conviction is implied to be wrongful. He undertakes some unusual statistical acrobatics, as well, reaching back for four-year averages so that he can paint an unflattering picture when more recent stats would give an entirely different one -- by the end of the year that article was written, for instance, the Suffolk homicide conviction rate was higher than 90%.

    Using national or general-urban statistics for comparison purposes is equally disingenuous. Any major city is going to have a higher crime rate when compared with the average of all cities, all suburbs, and all rural areas. Boston’s homicide rate compared to that of a similarly-sized city such as Baltimore, however, reveals a much lower one – 2.8 per 100,000 residents as opposed to 13.4. The author of the article knows this, of course, and I trust that you do, too, because he linked to it (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm).

    He also knows that the UCR counts solved murders from previous years against a city’s annual clearance rate, though he chooses to use the unorthodox one-year-only method when he computes his own numbers, allowing 364 days to clear a murder on Jan. 1 and only hours to clear a murder on Dec. 31.

    For the most recent years in which final statistics are available, the same tables show an almost imperceptible decline in the homicide rate for nationwide cities in the same population group (the Group I subset) as Boston. During the same period, Boston experienced a drop of 11% -- an absolutely huge rate compared to the national numbers.

    The author suggests that a low homicide arrest rate leads to a higher homicide rate. This year alone, we’ve made 14 arrests in 2009 cases – plus an additional 10 arrests in cases dating back to 1984 – and we’ve obtained convictions for an additional 21 homicides dating back to 1979 (I say “we” here because there’s a strong partnership among the police and prosecutors assigned to the DA’s and BPD’s homicide units). Each year that passes is a year in which multiple homicides from prior years are solved.
    Wouldn’t the reciprocal corollary also be true, then, and suggest that our efforts thus far are at least having some effect on street violence along with the EMTs you credit?

    Acquittal is innocence, right?

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    I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with Bernstein, or with your objections.... but:

    You wrote:

    Each acquittal is held up as an example of a defendant’s innocence, and each conviction is implied to be wrongful.

    Aren't you making an unfair statement in the first half of that sentence? If a defendant is acquitted, then, according to the law (not people's opinions), the defendant is, by definition, innocent. Right?

    This is a level of

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    This is a level of hair-splitting that actually embarrasses me, but the jury acquits with a verdict of "not guilty," which is a legal term, rather than "innocent," which is a moral one. Donnell Johnson, for instance, was found legally guilty but he was morally innocent, and I was thinking of cases where the reverse was true.

    On the other hand, though, I type "All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" at the end of all my press releases, so yeah, you're right: it is unfair.

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