A memorial for Officer Michael Chesna. (Doug Cope/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- It’s hard to drum up much sympathy for Emanuel Lopes, who allegedly crashed his car on a quiet Weymouth street at 7:30 Sunday morning and fled, then, when approached by the responding officer, hit him in the head with a rock, took his gun and shot him ten times, before again fleeing and firing randomly into a home, killing a woman inside.
The murder of Officer Michael Chesna wasn’t the violent reflex of a frightened person--it was an execution, plain and simple, and it’s too bad execution won’t be an option for Lopes if found guilty.
The subsequent murder of Vera Adams was also an unspeakable atrocity.
I’m saving my sympathy for the families, friends and admirers of the deceased.
The lady who wrote to me yesterday about her observations of Lopes as a child in the Weymouth schools wasn’t sympathetic to his crimes either; she has cops in her family and called what happened “devastating.”
“He was troubled as a child and [people] did everything possible to get him outside support," she wrote. "Whether it was the family’s education, beliefs, shame or stigma about mental illness, he never received what he needed to be healthy, and ended up doing what most teen boys do who are untreated; he turned to poor behavior and worse.”
No excuses, just terrible facts.
Untreated mental illness keeps showing up in perpetrators of horrendous violence. And fixing it won’t be as easy as hiring more doctors.
When the flawed system we have is trying its hardest to reach an unfolding disaster like Lopes but still not able to intervene, you have to wonder if new approaches are needed.
And if two innocent people might be alive today if we had some.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
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