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DA: No reason to charge cops who fatally shot berserk man who stole cruiser, aimed replica gun at them

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office announced today that Boston Police officers acted "lawfully and reasonably" when they used their guns to bring down an out-of-control Marquis Barker, who seemed desperate to commit suicide by cop after an argument with his wife in November, 2007:

At the time he pointed that air pistol, which is designed and marketed as a detailed and realistic replica of an actual handgun, at the officers, Barker had stolen a Boston Police cruiser, had been the subject of multiple 911 calls for a man with a gun, had threatened to kill himself, and had refused repeated orders to drop his weapon.

The DA's office says police tried repeatedly to end their confrontation with Barker peacefully even as he begged them to shoot him and that it was only after he crashed the police cruiser he'd stolen in the parking lot of a Mattapan Walgreens and then pointed what appeared to be a real gun at one officer that three other officers opened fire, killing him.

DA Dan Conley's letter to Police Commissioner Ed Davis on the matter, detailing events leading to Barker's death.

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Comments

No flies on Conley.

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What, no allegations of a conspiracy, Anonymous? Is that really the best you can do?

This news was released today because it was the day on which we could set the second of two meetings with Mr. Barker's family. And as past reports on other police-involved fatalities has amply demonstrated, there's no expiration date for media reports regarding a death investigation.

It didn't have to be announced at all. No one would have made snide (and, let's be honest, entirely predictable) comments had we not, but the DA instructed me to draft a release and post his letter for you to read because it was the right thing to do. There's absolutely no requirement anywhere that we announce these results or recommendations. We do it because, again, it's the right thing to do.

For all your carping prior to the announcement on the Woodman case, Anonymous, you never did come down to look through the files even though you were entitled to. I know this because I facilitated all the reviews of that report and its 40-odd pounds of accompanying documentation. That didn't stop you from calling his death a murder, of course -- just as your willful ignorance on this topic doesn't stop you from making a crass and unwarranted comment, just as you would have on a Monday or a Wednesday, and just as you will in the next thread with the slightest bearing on local law enforcement.

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Thank you for the job you do as spokesman for the district attorney. I'm glad you are not dissuaded from doing what you and Atty Conley think is fundamental because of potentially crass, snide or unwarranted carping. Rest assured, I am not dissuaded from commenting as a result of your sarcasm and bitterness.

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Hey, fair enough -- and, really, nor should you be.

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