BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross on Thursday called out “liberal” judges for releasing dangerous criminals from prison during the coronavirus pandemic after a violent night in Boston turned deadly and left multiple people injured on Wednesday.
“Violent offenders should not be released back to the neighborhoods,” Gross said during a news conference at City Hall. “You’re taking people from a controlled environment that have not been fully rehabilitated.”
Officers responding to a report of several people shot outside of 5 Ames Way around 11:55 p.m. found five men suffering from gunshot wounds, according to Gross. They were taken to area hospitals, where one of the victims was pronounced dead. The remaining victims’ injuries are considered non-life-threatening.
As this incident was unfolding, Gross said officers responded to a local hospital, where one man was receiving treatment for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and another man was being treated for a non-life-threatening stab wound.
There have been no arrests made in connection with the incidents.
The string of violence prompted Gross to sound off against several state judges.
“Not one judge has ever provided a certificate that said any COVID-19 releases are fully rehabilitated,” Gross said. “So the mentality on the street is you can do whatever you want.”
As an example, Gross pointed to murder suspect William James Utley, 40, who was released from jail after his attorney argued that a health condition made him more susceptible to the coronavirus.
“If you [judges] feel so comfortable releasing them, let them stay at your house with your family,” Gross said.” Now see if things would change, come on! We’re in the middle of a pandemic!”
Gross said the current mentality on the streets of Boston is “do whatever we want” with no repercussions because the courts are closed.
“Look at the numbers. Five homicides in a row, the attempted murder of four police officers in broad daylight, a 10-year-old girl shot in her apartment, a 17-year-old girl murdered on the street,” Gross said. “Use your common sense and be fair to people in the community. The people are not rehabilitated.”
Gross went on to say that the four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s horrific death deserve to be arrested and punished.
“We condemn those acts of violence and we stick and stand with the chief, Aaron Rondo, of Minneapolis,” Gross said.
The officers were fired after a video emerged showing Floyd gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes.
In the footage, Floyd pleads that he cannot breathe and slowly stops talking and moving.
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