Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something Just Doesn't Add Up II

Revere Police Officer Daniel Talbot (My Fox Boston)
On September 29, Revere Police Officer Daniel Talbot was shot in the head by unknown assailants who were in their late teens to early twenties. Talbot was not alone, as he was with several other Revere off-duty officers (one report says two other officers another says three.)  Reports also say that his fiancee was with the group as well. The facts of this story are extremely nebulous. According to various Boston media outlets, Talbot and his cop friends were hanging out in the parking lot of Revere High when there was a confrontation with a group of young men. From this point on, the details seem to conflict. has reported that an altercation occurred between the officers and a group of young men and that shots rang out, but the website states in a different article that Derek Lodie - the only person being charged in connection with the crime (accessory before the fact) - got into a confrontation with the group of officers (and whoever else was there) and then called his friends on a cell phone, when a second altercation occurred and that's when someone started shooting.

Derek Lodie being led to arraignment (
What's also strange is the brevity with which the DA's office released a report exclaiming that the bullet did not come from one of the other officer's guns. The report was released on Monday, October 1, only two days after the officer's death (less than 48 hours, considering his time of death was around 10pm Saturday). There do not seem to be any reports pointing to any of the officers as suspects before the autopsy results came out, so the rush to have them released seems slightly out of place. Additionally, the DA's office has a suspect in custody - the man who allegedly orchestrated the whole incident - but have charged him with only being an accessory before the fact (which, according to Massachusetts Law, carries the same punishment as the principal felon [aka the shooter] so it is akin to facing the murder charge, just not directly). So that means that Lodie did not pull the trigger, only asked someone to do it for him, which makes little sense because the media does not report that Lodie is part of any gang and at 17 years old, even if he were part of a gang, I doubt he would be such a heavy hitter as to order a hit on a cop and actually have it done, for no reason. I'm not saying he didn't do it, I'm just saying that the charges they are holding him on are strange.

More oddities in the case include the sealing of anything having to do with the case in any way, shape, or form. Additionally, two other people's names keep popping up in the news as to their involvement in the crime, but they have yet to be charged with anything and are simply being held on probation violations and/or seperate charges [included in article last linked to]. Despite's report of a lot of gang activity in the area coming from MS-13, it turns out 2 of the 3 arrests so far have been white individuals, and the one identified gang member (a white kid) is of the Bloods street gang, a home-grown violent group.

Suffolk County DA Daniel F. Conley (Wikipedia)
This brings up a lot of questions that have yet to get answered, and may never be. Why were the off-duty cops at the Revere High parking lot at 1:30 am after having been out drinking during the night? One article says that the cops believed their faces would arouse trouble at a bar or on Revere Beach, so they headed to the isolation behind Revere High (trespassing in the process, as well as other crimes if they were drinking). I'm not exactly sure why their faces would cause trouble at places, considering that a fellow officer was quoted at the arriagnment of Lodie as saying "You think you're working and living in a city that's safe and something like this happens." Also, as some posters on web boards have alluded to, just because a department-issued glock was not used does not mean that a cop could not have pulled the trigger (I'm not saying a cop did it, I am raising that as a possibility considering part of the murder weapon was found in a storm drain and thus no one has possession of it anymore, but the DA has already ruled out that a cop was the one who did it). Additionally, reports say that a gun battle ensued, but only Talbot was hit, and in the head no less. So an amateur shot a police officer in the head with a pistol (so it could not have been too far away) and the officers who were there with their service weapons, with which they are trained, were unable to hit any of the assailants? It's one thing if the Revere PD wants to admit that the criminals in their city are better shooters than they are, but I highly doubt that a) they would ever admit that, and b) that the criminals in the city are actually better shooters than them.

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Let me give you two scenarios. The first one would be that what happened is exactly what the prosecutors and investigators are telling us: for whatever reason these off-duty cops (along with Talbot's fiancee and whoever else may have been there - no one is saying) are behind Revere High at 1 am doing whatever it is people do behind public high schools late at night. Lodie comes along, and a verbal argument erupts. Apparently the cops think nothing of it because they did not leave or call any of their fellow on-duty brethren to come over. Lodie calls his boys up, they come down to Revere High armed, get into another argument and start shooting, hitting Talbot in the head once. Talbot's friends shoot back at these kids, somehow missing all of them. Did they chase the kids? Did they get a good look at the kids? Are there sketches of what these kids look like? No one is saying.

The scene after the shooting (
Then there's scenario number two: these cops are at Revere High at 1 am for whatever reason, an argument or something occurs within the group, Talbot is killed by someone in the group with a non-department issued weapon, which they then break down and toss in a storm drain. Then the group comes up with a story involving a "homeless misfit", as the Herald describes him, and a group of his apparently unknown friends. Like something out of a movie.

What do I think happened? I think it's somewhere between the two. I don't think that investigators are giving us the whole story, but I don't think that the second scenario is true, either. I only point out the second scenario to serve as an example of what can be concluded with what little information the investigators are releasing to people. If the first scenario is true, then it is unfair to Officer Talbot and his family to allow so much uncertainty to surround his death. If the story that the investigators are trying to give us is incorrect, then it is unfair to Officer Talbot and his family, as well as the public, to lie about an incident concerning a police officer's death on public property. Hopefully the full story will come out (there's allegedly video footage of what happened directly before the incident, but of course it is not being released) and the people will know the truth.

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