A few more data points on the ongoing spat between Suffolk DA Dan Conley and BPD Commissioner Ed Davis.
- This interesting op-ed from the Globe a few days ago argues that Conley is absolutely wrong to divide up homicide jurisdiction in the way he has. The author (from the Manhattan Institute, of which I’m not normally a fan) very sensibly argues
that the DA’s instructions belie the nature of homicides, the conduct of investigations, and the process of preventing future homicides…. The district attorney’s current policy fragments criminal investigations in Boston: It isolates homicides that are serendipitously committed “on or near” the MBTA and other state agency properties from Boston’s overall crime problem as well as its homicide problem. It is a retreat from all that we have learned over the past several decades about homicides, their investigations, and their prevention.
Read the whole thing — it’s the best explanation I’ve seen yet about how misguided Conley’s policy is.
- Conley, meanwhile, is giving interviews to anyone who will listen, desperately trying to explain what a good idea his policy is, and how unrelated to politics and turf wars it is. And how unfairly the media is treating him.
Although Conley claimed he has explained his position to the mainstream media, he said coverage of the dispute has been unbalanced, adding fuel to the proverbial fire.
“I’m disappointed that the whole story hasn’t been told by the daily media,” he said. “In my view, it’s been totally one-sided. It’s kind of like whoever yells the loudest gets the most press, and they just yelled louder. What’s gotten lost in all this is that we have come up with a common-sense way to devote additional resources to addressing homicides in Boston.”
Oh please. Conley should read the op-ed linked above before spouting off about how “common-sense” his approach is. Here, though, is the funniest part of the interview.
Q. For better or worse, not everyone understands that, by statute, the DA has jurisdiction over homicides. Do you worry that people who don’t understand that have formed the wrong opinion on this issue?
A. Not everyone is an attorney, so not everyone is going to understand the role of the district attorney in these homicide investigations. So, sure, I wish the mainstream media would put the message out there accurately that this has been the district attorney’s jurisdiction all along. It’s just a matter of who I’ve chosen to be my law-enforcement representative in the field, and it’s fully within my authority to do so. This is something I’ve been contemplating for a year.
Ah, that’s the problem! Not everyone is an attorney! Good grief. Does he really not get that no one cares whether he has the authority to do what he did — it’s more that nobody thinks it’s a good idea?
- Meanwhile, this just in from Conley’s office:
Massachusetts State Police assigned to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office have arrested a Dorchester resident for the fatal shooting of Tai Nguyen in his parents’ Augustus Street home earlier this year.
State Police homicide detectives apprehended ANH VU NGUYEN, age 20 (D.O.B. 1/7/87) and of no relation to the victim, yesterday morning in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Nguyen was indicted last week by a Suffolk County grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder…. In the days following Tai Nguyen’s death, Anh Nguyen left Massachusetts. State Police tracked him to the Chicago area and worked with Illinois authorities to execute arrest warrants obtained last week.
No word yet on whether the victim was near MBTA property at the time of the shooting.