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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Thomas Gagen

Mistakes in Watertown

Lessons we learned in the hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers

This week, as the 2014 Boston Marathon draws near, memories of suffering and heroism surely dominate the minds of everyone in the city and region. Responses to the public safety challenge presented by the search for perpetrators, however, were far from flawless. Police officers made major mistakes in the use of weapons during the hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers in Watertown.

“Why Was Boston Strong?” — a report by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University — analyzes the superb response of the medical community and first responders in treating the injured and conducting an investigation that quickly produced photos of the two suspects. Once the police located the SUV allegedly stolen by the brothers, Watertown officers cornered them and were in the process of subduing Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Then came the first mistake.

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