Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

ROXBURY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO SHOOTING CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON VICTIM’S FATHER AND GANG VIOLENCE

 

On Monday, we began discussing the matter in which was young girl was shot last weekend. The father, who police believe was the attended victim, has been unable or unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement about the shooting.

Witnesses and community leaders have been voicing outrage over the second shooting to wound a young girl in Roxbury in less than a week — this time when her allegedly gang-member father (hereinafter, the “Father”) was targeted, according to police.

Saturday afternoon’s brazen gunplay on Winslow Street left a 2-year-old with injuries to her leg and hand. On Oct. 9, a 9-year-old girl was shot and critically injured at a family get-together.

“We’ve had a real bad week. Anyone who has ever loved a child — they’re heartbroken,” said Emmett Folgert of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, which works to divert kids from gang life.

According to the Boston Herald ), Mayor Martin J. Walsh has commented, “This particular case, [Father] is not willing to step up … That’s a coward right there. And it bothers me. And certainly, we’re trying to find out who did this shooting … It was a gang-involved shooting, and they clearly were going after this young girl’s father and he’s clearly not talking to the police about it. I just can’t fathom that.”

A 53-year-old male witness said he was visiting a relative on Winslow Street when he heard what he thought were firecrackers. He then cracked the front door and saw a middle-aged man wearing a helmet riding a black scooter, shooting from point-blank range in the direction of a man lying on the street near the passenger’s side of a Chrysler sedan. The Chrysler’s front and rear passenger doors were open, the witness said.

“It was at least 10 shots — the clip, he emptied it.”

The witness added the man was shooting a 9 mm, and added he believes the shooting was caught on security cameras on the street.

“He had no care about it. I wonder how he feels about shooting the baby? … It’s a miracle. She could have got shot in the head. I’m grateful that nobody died.”

The Herald ended the story declaring that its policy is not to identify witnesses to violent crime.

Apparently, while the Herald has not released the identify of Father in this case, everyone is looking to him to do it himself.

Attorney Sam’s Take On The Worth Of Coerced Statements And Leaps To Accuse

As we finished Monday’s blog, I questioned the value of any information about the shooting gotten from Father under these circumstances.

At the risk of giving free advice to the alleged shooter’s future criminal defense lawyer, unless he comes to the source, I would suggest that there are a number of reasons to treat any such statement with more than the proverbial grain of salt.

You see, we have discussed this type of issue, although with different facts, before. Usually it comes up when the government, state or federal, decides upon a theory of their case and they look to make deals with potential or actual co-defendants who are interested in limiting their exposure.

Of course, in this case, there is an automatic motive to lie OTHER THAN looking to make a deal. That is…if what the police suspect about Father is actually true.

If Father is indeed part of a street gang, particularly if the shooting is gang-related, then Father clearly has enemies. We have seen many cases wherein complainants use law enforcement and a couple of lies to “get at” folks they do not like. Well, if Father is really a “gangbanger”, then he not only has enemies, but now has a decent weapon to us against them. Why not name an enemy?

Of course, it certainly seems that law enforcement has a theory of their case already. Would Father’s chosen story match the theory? Well, if not, then the police are unlikely to accept it. If they choose not to accept it, then they will likely charge Father with, among other things, Intimidating a Witness…a felony.

“But what if he just tells the truth, Sam?”

That’s the problem, isn’t it? Who knows what the truth is? Many people figure that the police always do.

I can tell you that they do not always know the truth.

I can also tell you that to squeeze a tale out of someone you believe is a “gang banger” under these circumstances not only has ethical issues, but it is also not the thing to focus on.

By the way, anyone notice that the above-described witness describes the shooter as “middle-aged”?

We don’t usually hear much about middle aged “gang bangers”.

Could it be that the working theory by the police is not the truth?

Just askin’.

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