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Man killed in confrontation with Boston police was convicted in attack on officer in 2018; prosecutor feared for his safety

Michael A. Quarrles was fatally shot by a Boston police officer on Saturday, something a prosecutor feared would happen one day after Quarrles was convicted in 2018 of choking an officer into unconsciousness.

Quarrles, 37, was killed after fighting with several police officers responding to a domestic violence call on Ingleside Street in Dorchester. He was living at the same address on March 2, 2018, when he got into a violent confrontation with officers responding to a domestic violence call made by a relative.

Quarrles represented himself at trial and was convicted of two counts of assault and battery on a police officer. By then, he had been convicted of fighting with or attacking police in Georgia and Tennessee and had been incarcerated in both states as a result, a prosecutor noted.

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“It is vital to point out that the defendant’s own safety was, and will be, at risk because of his violent behavior towards police. Either of the officers on scene that day [in 2018] would have been justified in using lethal force against the defendant to get him to stop,” Julia Hira, the trial prosecutor, wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“Moving forward, officers who respond to 27 Ingleside or come across the defendant during an arrest will no doubt be ready and willing to use as much force deemed necessary to keep the defendant in order,” she added.

The use of deadly force against Quarrles is under investigation by Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins, whose office is charged with deciding whether the shooting was legally justified. The district attorney’s office has at least five pending deadly force cases.

Quarrles’ family could not be reached for comment.

Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long told reporters Saturday that several officers entered the Ingleside Street home around 6:15 p.m. As they “approached the third-floor landing, they encountered a suspect. This suspect immediately assaulted the officers with a knife, stabbing one officer in the neck,” Long said.

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Quarrles was shot and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A knife was found at the scene, Long said. The officer was later released from the hospital.

In the 2018 incident, a relative called police after Quarrles brushed against her while the two were walking down the hallway of the multi-family home, according to court records.

Two officers tried to talk with Quarrles in his bedroom, but he said he would file his own report and tried to shut the door. The two officers pushed back, fearing he would arm himself and attack them, records show.

Quarrles began fighting with the officers when they said they were arresting him. His mother allegedly attacked one of the officers, giving Quarrles the opportunity to put the other in a chokehold, Hira wrote.

Quarrles was sentenced to two years and six months in the Suffolk County House of Correction. He later challenged the judge’s decision by asserting police lied during testimony at his trial.

“None should face charges from a gang of liars, especially from a police group or any governing group,” Quarrles wrote in 2019. “This case has no clear evidence and therefore zero ways to prove anything against me.” The judge rejected his arguments.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.