A body was found this morning in the back seat of a car at 35 Rowe St. in Roslindale. Police told the Boston Globe that they believe it to be drug-related because it is a quiet neighborhood next to railroad tracks which makes it a good place for illicit meetings. The medical examiner removed the body from the gold Honda as police officers cordoned off the scene. A resident of the street said she was doing laundry when saw feet hanging out of the car.
Police didn’t say what types of injuries were involved, but they said that there was some evidence at the scene.
This incident represents yet another possibly drug-motivated crime in the city this year. Fairly recent studies have shown, however, that the relationship between homicide and drug dealing is somewhat poorly understood. One study, which analyzed Boston police arrest data, indicated that less than 15% of reported Boston homicides involve drug use or dealing. Studies also show, on the other hand, that while drug trafficking is a relatively infrequent cause of homicide, it does provide a context in which homicides become more likely to occur.
The police officer’s comment about the quiet neighborhood being a good place for illicit meetings brings up an important search and seizure concept. Many allegedly illicit meetings occur in high-crime areas, not quiet neighborhoods like the one from this news story. Often times, police officers stop persons in high-crime areas based on merely a “hunch,” and this is unlawful. Simply being in a high-crime area is not enough to justify a stop because otherwise, people who live and work in high-crime areas would be left without the protections of the Fourth Amendment.
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