DA Rollins on Rise in Hate Crimes, Push to Reverse Hinton and Patrick Rose Drug Lab Convictions
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins joined Boston Public Radio Friday to discuss his office’s investigations into two possible hate crimes that occurred in Winthrop and Brighton days apart.
She also discussed her desire to overturn tens of thousands of drug convictions related to the scandal-ravaged Hinton drug lab.
On the double homicide at Winthrop and the stabbing in the Brighton investigations
On June 26, Winthrop’s Nathan Allen shot dead Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper and retired statesman David Green, both black. Investigators found Allen’s racist and anti-Semitic writings, and say the murders may have been motivated by hate, noting that he passed a number of white pedestrians before targeting the victims.
Then, on July 1, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was attacked outside a Jewish school in Brighton. Rollins said the alleged perpetrator, Khaled Awad, is undergoing a mental health assessment.
Both crimes occurred in broad daylight and against a backdrop of increasing hate crimes nationwide. Rollins said she visited Noginski in Brighton, who is recovering, as well as the Jewish community in Winthrop.
” Well Named, [the Jewish community is] very afraid or afraid of this rise in anti-Semitism, “she told BPR.
Co-host Jim Braude asked Rollins if there was anything to do with the crimes, given the short delay between them. Rollins declined to comment specifically on these two cases, but placed the cases in the context of an increase in violence against Asian Americans and an increase in anti-Semitism across the country. She urged people to look out for each other.
“Things start with a thought, then maybe a whisper, then a word, then a loud statement, then an act,” she said. “Yes, it’s a huge leap to go from an act to a double homicide or a brutal stab in broad daylight in a beautiful park outside a Hebrew school in Brighton, but we really need to start to be more aware and to take better care of each other. “
Set to overturn tens of thousands of drug convictions linked to Hinton State drug lab
Rollins’ office has asked the state’s highest court to decide whether new trials should be granted to anyone whose evidence has been tested at the Hinton drug lab – not just cases involving disgraced chemists Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan, who were convicted of tainting evidence. Rollins said Boston Public Radio his decision does not come just because of the two “bad actors”, but because of general failures within the lab and widespread mismanagement.
“I’m not interested in putting my name on anything that defends behavior that came out of the Hinton lab,” she said. “We’ve wasted tens of millions of dollars, thousands and thousands of men’s and women’s hours on it. If we had just done what was right in the beginning … we would have saved tons of money. money in the Commonwealth, and perhaps we could have used some of that time and effort to resolve some unsolved homicides, of which we have over 1,300 in Boston. ”
Three drug lab prosecutors – Anne Kaczmarek, John Verner and Kris Foster – were also found guilty of willful misconduct and rule violations. Rollins said all three had worked at some point in the Suffolk district attorney’s office; Verner, who Rollins says works in the homicide unit, is still on duty. Verner was cleared of a majority of wrongdoing charges, but was found to have wrongly failed to disclose documents and sufficiently supervise Kaczmarek, according to Commonwealth Magazine.
“John isn’t supervising anyone in our office right now, and he’s being supervised well,” Rollins said. “And John is a really good lawyer and I think there was a mistake and a mistake, but I also want to make sure that I’m not the person saying from the outside that we’re going to give people so much. as likely as possible, then with my own staff saying, sort of, ‘rip your head off.’ “
On a report commissioned by the city on the management of Patrick Rose by the Boston police
Acting Mayor Kim Janey has promised a review of Patrick Rose – a former officer and former leader of the Patrol Union accused of sexually abusing children during his tenure in the force – by mid-June. According to a GBH News report, more than a month after this deadline expired, no report has been made public.
Rollins said on BPR that Janey has been more transparent than any mayor before her, citing the acting mayor’s decision to release certain documents redacted from Rose’s long internal affairs record.
But she also blamed Janey for missing her self-imposed deadline.
“If you give the public a date that you’re going to do something, you have to do it before that date… or you have to let them know that date has now changed and here is the reason,” she said.