The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on July 16, 1991 · 15
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 15

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 16, 1991
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15 n Milk w arning Mothers who drank Sharon dairy's milk are advised to stop nursing. Page 17. Also Inside MetroRegion news, 15-21 1M THE BOSTON GLOBE TUESDAY, JULY 16, 1991 f 2? V': Jgiig..'y;.; Police, public suffer after shot ONE MOMENT, THIS KID Christopher Rogers, 16, was alive. Then, one moment later, he was dead on the street, Hamilton Street in Dorchester, shot by a cop named James E. (Sonny) Hall who had no business being there in the first place but quickly provided everyone with a preposterous story about a gun, his own, that misfired when he placed his hand on the pavement This occurred early Friday. Immediately, Hall had himself taken to a hospital because he com-, plained about chest pains. Late Friday afternoon, Hall, smiling and joking with a friend, sure didn't look like someone having a heart attack as he waited to be questioned by detectives about a 16-year-old who is dead for no good reason. By Sunday, a cleansing rain had washed what was left of Rogers' blood from the gutter along Hamilton Street, but even a downpour could not erase the stain from a reeling Police Department Among too many people who need the police the most there is now a mistrust of nearly everyone who wears a badge. Much of it is unfair, but because perception carries its own reality, the weight of this feeling today infects several neighborhoods. "He shot his gun at us before," a young kid was saying the other afternoon about Hall, who lives around the corner from where Rogers died. "A warning shot is what he called it Fired at us when we was walking next to his house." "How come?" the kid was asked. "You tell me how come," he replied. "Probably cause the man's crazy is why." "Know why he shot him?" another neighborhood kid asked. "Why?" ; "Because he didn't like him. That's all," the kid ,said. , '- ' ' ' '.";. The cop knew the victim. Rogers lived with an aunt on Hamilton Street up the road from Hall's Mt Everett Street house. The two had argued in the past Over - what? - rock throwing? Trespassing? An attitude? God only knows. Now a boy is gone and the defense is an empty tale meant to cover someone who, more than likely, should never have been on the job to begin with. This weekend, the mayor, Raymond Flynn, said he was angry about civil service procedures that prevent the city from dismissing those who are not up to the task of policing the town. This is like complaining that a major league ballplayer can't hit a curve after he has consistency failed to hit his own weight during years down in Double-A. The problem isn't making it easier to get people off the job; it's making it tougher for them to get on in the first place. But we should not be surprised that standards have dipped when it comes to hiring police. After all, standards are sliding everywhere and have been for a long time too, all across the board. Look at the professions - education, law, medicine, journalism - and you will see more than the occasional acceptance of mediocrity, even bungling. A couple hundred yards from where Rogers died, probably trying to hide from a Boston policeman, Bellevue Street cuts across Hamilton Street At 104 Bellevue, there is a tattered three-decker where a cop working the drug unit Sher-. man Griffiths, was shot to death in the third-floor hallway on a February night three years ago. Nobody was ever found guilty of this murder, the most momentous kind of murder you could ever have in a city gone crazy over drugs - the killing of a decent policeman who was in the process of doing his job, which was: fight plague. Once, such a death going unpunished would have been beyond comprehension, but the crime of killing Griffiths, 36, with two small children, was prosecuted unsuccessfully because of simple police incompetence. Since that time, much has remained unchanged. The mayor still holds enormous influence, too much clout, over police work. You still have people promoted to bosses' jobs on the basis of political or personal relationships rather than professional excellence. Thus, many cops regard the department as a joke and morale as nonexistent On the street, police have enormous powers. They are also supposed to have the judgment, temperament and training needed to exercise their huge authority. Never mind what different judges do to suspects under arrest because that is all after the fact The bulk of a good cop s job is performed on a sidewalk, far from any courtroom, where police are on their own while sworn to pro tect and defend the population. For Sonny Hall, who killed Christopher Rog ers, this was not the first time he has been in trou ble because of mishandling of a service handgun. Three years ago, he shot an unarmed man in the back but got bailed out of that one. This time, though, there is a dead boy and a badly wounded Police Department Expanded jury sessions dispensing swifter justice By Kevin Cullen GLOBE STAFF In courthouse parlance, Charles R. Waters 3d of Braintree was known as a "pass through." After each of his assorted brushes with the law, Waters waited until his case in Quincy District Court was about to be assigned to a judge. He would first exercise his right to have his case p 9?; through the primary court and be heard cy a jury. He then would appeal whatever finding was reached, as is his right under the state's de novo, or two-tier, trial system. As a repeat defendant Waters knew that by passing through to. the Dedham jury session, where Quincy cases were sent his case was entering a system that ' was hopelessly backlogged. The delays, often six months to a year, were always in his best interest Witnesses got tired of showing up. The prosecution, facing its own backlog, became more willing to deal, and pressure grew on the court to dispose of the case. , The record that became public after Waters' most recent trial indicated that over the years, whenever Waters availed himself of the de novo system, he was rewarded with some form of leniency, such as in 1972 when his appeal to the Dedham jury session resulted in reaffirming his conviction on having no car insurance but wiped out the $100 fine that went along with it Imagine his surprise, then, when last month in Quincy he opted for what is known as a first instance jury trial and was told to be ready for trial in two weeks, in the Quincy court Three weeks ago, just a month after his arraignment in Quincy, Waters was sentenced by Judge Lewis L. Whitman to six months in the Norfolk County House of Correction, the maximum sentence, after a jury convicted him of disorderly DE NOVO, Page 21 Mil'-' y r W , V,-' J v- V a 1 j, H v. it I " V- 7. r r Vzn J L i 1 ) - ' . ' i " "1T!rtTr.'ir'r , , "frf-tr, fmtr-""' rJ gummmm,.,, n,mm-,,mmMmmKm,u,,m,u, ,.m- a,,,-,, J GLOBE STAFF PHOTO BILL GREENE BACK-PORCH POLITICS - Cambridge police take into custody five persons who took their protest of budget cuts in programs for the poor to the home of Gov. Weld yesterday. Page 18 School officials dismiss audit of special needs By Diego Ribadeneira GLOBE STAFF The Boston School Department released its official response yesterday to a highly critical audit of its special needs program, dismissing the report as flawed and its recommendations as unfeasible. But parents and activists immediately criticized the department's stance as typical of what they said is the school system's unwillingness and inability to provide the services for special needs students mandated under state law. The independent audit may set the stage for an end to the bitter and divisive legal battle that has pitted parents and activists against the School Department A Superior Court judge is expected to use the audit to fashion an order compelling the department to meet its special needs obligations. ' SCHOOLS, Page 21 Missing Salem woman leaves mystery behind ...... iiiij j. .-IUI.H......I.., m in . I.UM f " ' ' By John Laidler SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE MARTHA BRAILSFORD Last seen near sailboat SALEM - The disappearance of a 37-year-old woman, last seen when she was apparently preparing to go sailing on Friday afternoon, has mystified police and shaken family and friends in her close-knit Salem Willows neighborhood bordering the waterfront park. According to her family and police, Martha Brails-ford, a self-employed interior designer, was last seen about 1:30 p.m. Friday, near a white 28-foot sailboat at the Salem Willows pier. Some witnesses said Brails-ford was accompanied by a man. Moments before, Brailsford had told friends at nearby Juniper Beach that she was going sailing with a friend. , Brailsford's husband, Brian, 41, a skipper for a Boston cruise company, said he notified police about 1 a.m. on Saturday that his wife was missing, after finding her gone when he arrived home from work about 9 p.m. on Friday. "It was highly unlike her not to have called or left a message," he said of his wife of eight years. ' ' . BRAILSFORD, Page 16 mis encl is ; seen Kaufman, party near settlement By Frank Phillips GLOBE STAFF The bitter year-old legal suits be tween state Democratic Party leaders and White House political director Ronald Kaufman are expected to" be settled out of court this week,-with the sides close to an agreement to drop charges, sources said yesterday. Sources said Democratic leaders, concerned that their financial and political resources are being eaten up as they approach an election year, initiated the negotiations to settle the legal battle stemming from dis- ruptions at the party convention in Springfield on June 2, 1990. ; : "It's just not worth directing all of our efforts in a case like this," said . one source. The party, which is financially strapped, faces a series of special legislative elections, the 1992 congressional campaigns, and a battle over congressional redistricting. ; Sources said the settlement, which will be completed when a few details are worked out, will not include admissions or denials of guilt ' "There will be no vindication for : either side," said one source. ': ; The Democratic Party, which by ; some estimates has spent $80,000 on its suit plans to pursue its civil rights case against a Springfield police union. The Democrats are ex-i pected to drop a suit against Steve DeAngelis, a Republican operative , who was named as a defendant " . The case began when Springfield police unions picketed the convention and delayed its opening for sev-1. eral hours. Some delegates said they ' were physically abused by the pick-. eters. ; ; Democrats have charged that Kaufman, who was in Springfield: that weekend, masterminded the . disruption by the union, which has ; ties to him. The union endorsed ; George Bush for president in 1988 ; over Michael Dukakis, a move engineered by Kaufman, who ran Bush's Massachusetts campaign. - Kaufman has denied he encouraged or talked with union leaders about the disruptions and has filed a countersuit against US Rep. Chester Atkins, who was party chairman at DEMOCRATS, Page 21, : 'That was like watching me and my boys up there, you know what I'm saying?' ' RICHARD DESMOND, Roxbury 16-year-old Boston youths say film shows lives like theirs By Renee Graham GLOBE STAFF He recalled the obscenity-laced arguments with his own mother, which often ended with flying objects and slamming doors. He remembered the countless nights drinking beer and talking trash withtfriends. Most of all, he relived the unforgettable feeling of cradling the head of a friend in his arms as life ebbed away, the cacophony of gunfire still ring-! . U . . ing in his ears. By the time the credits began to roll for the movie "Boyz N the Hood," Richard Desmond said, he was no longer looking at a film. He was "looking at my life in the mirror." ."That was like watching me and my boys up there, you know what I'm saying?" said Desmond, a 16-year-old who goes by the name Pooh on his Roxbury streets. "It made me think about a lot of things that have happened to me and I' things I know are going to happen. That movie was the cold truth." In this summer when arrow-slinging outlaws from days past and well-muscled cyborgs from the future have captured the moviegoing public's attention and dollars, many are praising the contemporary story of "Boyz N the Hood" for its unflinching look at violence in inner-city Los Angeles. But in some cities, reel violence has become real violence. A man was killed at a suburban Chicago theater and 35 people have been wounded across the country. So far, violence has not touched Boston area theaters. The accolades for director John Singleton and his work have been overshadowed by the reports of violence. Out of 830 theaters where the movie opened, eight concerned about violence, canceled showings. Among those who filled the Loews , BOYZ, Page 16 JU-

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