Based on the reports available, it looks like the Boston Police missed a big opportunity last year to at least arrest and question Edwin Alemany, the man in custody for the brutal kidnapping and murder of Amy Lord. Last fall, a BPD detective failed to follow-up on a sexual assault in which the survivor passed out, but not before she grabbed the perp’s wallet. That wallet contained Edwin Alemany’s driver’s license.*
Now, the detective in charge of that sexual assault case, Jerome Hall-Brewster, has been demoted to patrol officer. It was some combination of his bumbling of the sexual assault case and past transgressions, including some incident in 2011 and not reporting the use of nonlethal force in 2001.
The Globe reporting fails to mention, however, that Hall-Brewster had another run-in with notoriety. He was involved in one of the more high-profile and embarrassing cases for the Boston Police Department in recent years as one of the defendants in the Glik case. That case involved three BPD officers, including Hall-Brewster, arresting a man for wiretapping, disturbing the peace, and aiding in the escape of a prisoner because he videotaped the arrest of another man and what appeared to be the use of excessive force. Luckily, the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the charges against Glik violated the First and Fourth Amendments.
That case was truly a stain on the Boston Police Department. That case also cost the city $170,000 in a settlement. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of settlement the city pays for suits from Amy Lord’s family (not sure of the legal theory there, but I suspect they are coming).
All of this raises on important question, though – what does a police officer have to do to cost them their badge?
*I understand that this would have been a tough case to bring to trial because the survivor could not identify the perpetrator. But the seriousness of the crime and the evidence they had was enough to expand the investigation and make an arrest. It’s sad to see the police and prosecutors so regularly overaggressive on other cases, especially drug cases, but then fail to pursue a sexual assault.