Public Safety

Feds, Boston cops team up to get illegal guns off streets: Tiny but potent Taurus pistols key focus of search

By 
Stephen Kurkjian and Pat Tarantino, Special to The Reporter
Jan. 5, 2011

As the city struggles to contain a dramatic spike in gun violence, 18 handguns bought through an illegal straw purchase in Georgia in 2009 are believed to have wound up on the streets of Boston. So far two of the 18 handguns have been recovered by Boston Police officers, but, according to investigators the others are believed to be hidden here.  Read more

Police press for discretion over rifle, shotgun licenses

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Jul. 23, 2014

Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence founder John Rosenthal joined police chiefs from around the state, as well as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, at a press conference on Tuesday to express support for a measure giving police chiefs discretion in awarding rifle and shotgun licenses. Photo by State House News Service

Giving police chiefs discretion to decide who should have a license to carry a shotgun or rifle is crucial to prevent gun violence, domestic violence murders and suicides, police officials and other activists said at a State House rally Tuesday.  Read more

Investigators find 12 bodies from former Dorchester funeral home in Weymouth storage locker

A Neponset Avenue funeral director who is already behind bars awaiting trial on charges he stole funeral pre-payments from an elderly couple could be in even more trouble after detectives and pathologists recovered 12 bodies from the Public Storage facility in Weymouth and cremated remains at another self-storage place in Somerville, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.  Read more

State's highest court rules teen to be tried as adult for Fields Corner murder

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that Ernest Watkins IV, charged with first-degree murder for a fatal Fields Corner stabbing in 2012, can be tried as an adult.

Watkins, 14 at the time of Cherby LaJoie's murder outside the Fields Corner Red Line stop, had sought to be tried in juvenile court, which cannot impose a life sentence.

A Superior Court judge denied his motion. The Supreme Judicial Court said the case raised no double-jeopardy questions and that Watkins can be tried as an adult under a state law that sets 14 as the minimum age for adult murder cases.  Read more

About that T lot in Mattapan Sq.

The state’s heavy investment in the Fairmount commuter rail line will soon be put to the economic test in a very tangible way: Two requests for proposals have been issued by the city of Boston in recent weeks to gauge interest in a pair of sites deemed as ideal for so-called “transit-oriented development.”  Read more

Senate okays Sunday morning liquor store openings

By 
State House News Service
Jul. 15, 2014

Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature are now on record in support of legislation authorizing retail liquor stores in Massachusetts to open for sales at 10 a.m. on Sunday, rather than noon.

The House approved the legislation (H 228) in March and the Senate on Thursday approved the bill without debate. The Senate rejected a motion by Sen. Robert Hedlund to postpone consideration of the bill until July 24.  Read more

Hopkins Street residents redefine their community with a garden

By 
India Smith, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 15, 2014

Garden in Dorchester Honors Efforts Against Violence from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

On Saturday, July 12, residents of Hopkins Street hosted Mayor Marty Walsh, other officials and peace activists from around the city to dedicate a parcel of city-owned land as the Steven P. Odom Serenity Garden. Graced by ancient oak and mulberry trees, the shady spot will now offer residents a gathering place and a chance to commune with nature.

According to event organizer Faylis Matos, the garden represents the shared vision of the neighborhood group Redefining Our Community, known simply as ROC.

“Often Dorchester is stigmatized as a place of darkness, a dangerous place,” said Matos. “But we won’t allow people who don’t live here to define us.”  Read more

Pedestrian struck and killed in Lower Mills

A woman was hit by a white pickup truck shortly after 5 a.m. on Saturday at Washington and River streets.

Kevin Wiles, who photographed the scene, reports she was taken to Carney Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Boston Police Department reports she was 32.

Two brothers charged with second-degree murder for stabbing death outside hotel

A Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted two brothers on charges they used a detachable steering wheel and a knife in a brawl outside a party at the DoubleTree Hotel on Mt. Vernon Street that ended with one of their opponents dead of stab wounds.

Shawn Coleman, 22, of the South End, was charged with second-degree murder and was allegedly the attacker who inflicted Christopher Borgella's fatal injuries early on March 1.  Read more

Driver charged with running down teen on scooter then racing away

A Dorchester man was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail today on a variety of charges related to a series of incidents Wednesday night that started when he allegedly drove away after hitting a 15-year-old on a scooter in Dorchester and ended with his capture in Jamaica Plain after police say he crashed into another car.

The teen remains in the hospital Thursday morning with injuries so serious the homicide unit was initially called in after the crash.  Read more