A federal judge today ordered John Boampang held without bail at least until the end of his trial on charges he opened fire on police as rioting was winding down following a May 31 protest march and vigil on the Common.
Boampang, 37, of Dorchester, already faced 21 charges in state court related to the way he allegedly fired 11 rounds in the direction of police early on June 1 from an alley off Arlington Street in the Back Bay, supposedly out of anger that police had smashed his windshield after he had helped himself to goods from local stores. The US Attorney's office charged him in federal court on related charges, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and assaulting a federal officer - a Boston Police detective doubling as a member of an FBI anti-gang task force.
In her order, US District Court Magistrate Judge Page Kelly said that even if police did break one of Boampong's windows, that's hardly justification for opening fire on them, and that federal prosecutors more than adequately proved Boampang would prove a menace to society should he be released on bail while he awaits trial on the federal charges:
Mr. Boampong, with others, was driving around Boston at 3:00 a.m. in an area which, from the exhibits entered into evidence at the hearing, looked like it was in a state of chaos. There was a heavy police presence, as the police tried to maintain order and stop widespread looting and other violent acts. After the incident, merchandise from several looted stores was found in Mr. Boampong's car, along with the illegally-possessed handgun. Assuming it is true that the police broke a window in his car, that in no way justifies his emptying a handgun over the heads of the police and into an occupied residential building. The fact that no one was injured or killed in the course of this senseless incident is miraculous. The court cannot find that someone who committed such a potentially lethal act is not a danger to the community.