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星期四, 4月 27, 2017

MA state police superintendent statement on police involved shooting

Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, today released the following statement in response to the findings of Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley in the June 19, 2015 police-involved shooting of Santos Laboy in Boston.


“Based upon our own understanding of the facts and circumstances of the officer-involved shooting on the Silber Way Footbridge on June 19, 2015, we were confident that Trooper Andrew Patterson acted appropriately, and in defense of himself and others, when confronted by a knife-wielding suspect who repeatedly ignored commands to drop his knife and kept advancing toward the trooper.

“The evidence, as affirmed by the Suffolk County District Attorney today, showed that Trooper Patterson took repeated steps to try to de-escalate the confrontation and showed remarkable restraint. He repeatedly commanded the suspect, Santos Laboy, to drop his weapon, to no avail. The trooper moved backward as far as possible. When the armed suspect continued to close in on Trooper Patterson, and with the trooper also concerned for the safety of a crowd of civilians behind him on the Esplanade, Trooper Patterson as a last resort fired his weapon and struck the suspect, ending the threat.

“As police officers, we never want to have to fire at a suspect. Nonetheless, in certain circumstances, when an advancing armed suspect does not comply with orders to drop his weapon, or if no other means of de-escalation are possible, doing so is necessary to protect officers and bystanders. Trooper Patterson acted in accordance with the law and his training as a Massachusetts State Trooper.”

--Colonel Richard D. McKeon
Massachusetts State Police

DA Releases Investigative File in Fatal Police-Involved Shooting

BOSTON, April 26, 2017—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today released hundreds of pages of interviews, reports, and other materials related to his independent investigation into the fatal shooting of Santos Laboy during an armed encounter with police on a narrow footbridge above Storrow Drive.
During a meeting this afternoon to discuss his findings that the shooting did not warrant criminal charges, Conley provided Mr. Laboy’s family with documentation including 273 pages of interviews with 11 civilian witnesses and nine police witnesses, 111 pages of documentary reports, more than 450 digital photo files, almost 50 minutes of dispatch recordings, multiple video clips, and additional materials gathered by Chief Trial Counsel John Pappas, who oversaw the investigation.
Under a policy of transparency Conley put in place more than a decade ago, he also made those materials available upon request to Boston’s media for an additional layer of review.
The DA’s investigation and legal analysis revealed that Massachusetts State Police Trooper Andrew Patterson acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others when he discharged his service weapon and struck Mr. Laboy, who was approaching him with a knife, on the Silber Way Footbridge on June 19, 2015. The investigation revealed that Trooper Patterson was retreating from Mr. Laboy when he fired, and that he fired only after Mr. Laboy refused numerous commands from multiple officers to stop and drop his weapon.
The investigation established that Mr. Laboy had been sought by the Boston University Police Department in connection with an earlier investigation. Boston University Police detectives observed Mr. Laboy on the Esplanade that afternoon and attempted to speak with him about their investigation when he fled on foot.
The foot chase that followed led BUPD officers from the area of the Esplanade onto Storrow Drive, where Mr. Laboy attempted to enter motorists’ vehicles, and back. Brandishing a lock-back folding knife with a three-inch, double-edged blade, Mr. Laboy resisted and evaded the officers’ repeated efforts to de-escalate the situation and detain him using nonlethal force until he made his way to the Silber Footbridge from the Esplanade side of Storrow Drive. In the course of his flight, he told various officers that he would “stick” them with his knife.
Trooper Patterson, who had been working a detail nearby, heard a radio call requesting assistance in apprehending a suspect and made his way to the footbridge from the Boston side. As he crossed the bridge toward the Esplanade, he observed Mr. Laboy attempt to enter a passing car on Storrow Drive, jump a wrought iron fence onto the Esplanade, and flee from a BUPD officer who deployed his pepper spray toward him.
As Trooper Patterson crossed the bridge to assist the officers on the Esplanade side of the bridge, Mr. Laboy made his way up the ramp toward him, knife in hand. Trooper Patterson drew his weapon and repeatedly ordered Mr. Laboy to drop his knife. When Mr. Laboy was within about 15 feet of him, Trooper Patterson began moving backward while keeping his weapon trained on Mr. Laboy. While ignoring more than a dozen commands to drop his weapon, Mr. Laboy took a crouching stance, uttered an expletive and began approaching Trooper Patterson, behind whom stood a growing crowd of civilian witnesses.
Armed with the knife, Mr. Laboy advanced on Trooper Patterson, who continued to move backward. Mr. Laboy closed to a distance of 20 to 25 feet when Trooper Patterson discharged his weapon four times, striking him. Officers at the scene called for medical assistance and attempted to provide first aid. Mr. Laboy was declared dead at the scene.
“After a careful consideration of the facts and the law, I have determined that, under the circumstances, Trooper Patterson’s use of force was a lawful and reasonable exercise of self-defense and defense of others,” Conley wrote, citing Massachusetts law related to the use of lethal force in self-defense and rulings by the US Supreme Court and Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Conley further noted that Mr. Laboy appeared to be twenty to twenty-five feet away from Trooper Patterson at the time of the discharge, a distance that the trooper had a reasonable belief could be crossed in less time than would allow him to defend himself, and that Trooper Patterson was aware of a potential risk to the crowd behind him were Mr. Laboy able to get past him and cross the bridge to Back Street.

Conley’s office investigated the incident under Ch. 38, Sect. 4, of the Massachusetts General Laws, which establishes that, in “cases of unnatural or suspicious death,” including police-involved deaths, “the district attorney or his law enforcement representative shall direct and control the investigation of the death and shall coordinate the investigation with the office of the chief medical examiner and the police department within whose jurisdiction the death occurred.”