DA Rollins Responds To Calls To Reopen Fatal Boston Police Shooting Cases

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins has responded to calls from protesters to reopen three Boston Police shootings that left black men dead.

A rally held Tuesday outside of Rollins’ office, organized by Mass Action Against Police Brutality, demanded justice for Burrell Ramsey-White, Usaamah Rahim, and Terrence Coleman.

“Even prior to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and David McAtee - all at the hands of law enforcement or their proxy - poor, Black and Brown communities were rightfully skeptical of a DA’s Office investigating the very police officers they partner with every day,” Rollins said in a statement. “As a newly elected DA and an outsider to my office and our local law enforcement partners, I have personally taken over the function of supervising and reviewing officer involved cases of this nature.Since taking office we have reviewed several matters.”

Rollins said that while the deaths of the men brought up by protesters on Tuesday all appeared to have occurred “under prior administrations,” she said she is committed to discussing the cases with her Discharge Integrity Team.

“This four-person team meets at least monthly with me to review these specific types of cases. Our DIT currently includes a member of the community, a member of law enforcement, a criminal defense attorney and a retired Superior Court Judge. Half of the DIT members are people of color (Black), one is a survivor of homicide, and one is a veteran. All DIT meetings are conducted outside of my offices,” Rollins said.

She said that if any new information or evidence presents itself, she will ask that it is sent to her office.

Ramsey-White was shot and killed in 2012. WBZ-TV reports he was pulled over by plainclothes officers in an unmarked cruiser. Authorities said Ramsey-White then drove away resulting in a police chase. Investigators said he pulled a gun on officers after getting out of the car. An officer then shot him.

Rahim was killed in 2015 by police and FBI agents outside of a CVS. WBZ-TV reports he was suspected of plotting terrorist attacks. Police said he pulled a knife on them before officers opened fire. His brother later said that Rahim was just waiting for the bus to get to work at the time.

In 2016, Boston Police shot and killed Coleman outside of his home. WBZ-TV reports that his mother called 911 because she was concerned for her son, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Officers said that when they arrived, Coleman pulled a knife on them. They said this led to the shooting.

In her statement, Rollins also brought up another case that her team was investigating.

“One of the earliest cases presented to the DIT involved Massachusetts State Police Trooper Matthew Sheehan," Rollins said. "Trooper Sheehan was ultimately the subject of a Grand Jury investigation resulting in indictments returned on September 18, 2019 charging him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon, for firing a semi-automatic rifle at an all-terrain vehicle and injuring the operator on February 24, 2018."

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(File Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)

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