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letters | after the marathon: feeling residual effects

Law-enforcement actions in capture of Marathon suspects are not above scrutiny

While inundating the public with stories about the courageous recoveries of victims of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing and with unhelpful details of the burial of suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the press has been strangely silent regarding the indiscriminant firing of weapons by some law-enforcement personnel during the capture of the suspects.

First, who fired the bullet on the night of April 19 that nearly killed MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr.? Ballistic evidence has surely identified the responsible officer by now.

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Second, who fired the many rounds that pockmarked neighborhood homes that night? It was miraculous that innocent civilians were not wounded or killed by the wild gunfire from some officers.

Third, who unleashed the rounds on the boat in which a wounded and unarmed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding on April 20? This assault was unprovoked, and a robot was available to determine the status of the suspect.

These questions are not raised to discredit or punish our law-enforcement officers whose adrenaline levels surely surged during the wild events of April 19 and 20. Publication of names is unnecessary. Rather, it is important that the public be assured that responsible officials are aware of the specifics of any undisciplined actions by armed law-enforcement personnel.

Furthermore, it is even more important that the public be made aware of resulting corrective actions, including additional training and any necessary disciplinary actions. We must not allow our many courageous police officers to be tainted by the actions of a few cowboys.

Jerry Hartke


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