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.
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