Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just Call 911

On the day after the shooting of 19-year-old Nhaun Nguyen Monday night in Dorchester...

It began around 9 p.m. when a man was stabbed to death on Washington Street in Dorchester.

Then at 10:30 p.m., 19-year-old Nhaun Nguyen was shot and killed on Owencroft Road. She was visiting from Philadelphia.

... Channel 4 (CBS) in Boston reports:

The family of a woman killed in Dorchester Monday night says Boston police didn't respond fast enough to their calls for help about threats.

To which the Boston Police Department responded by releasing the official timeline of events from Monday night.

Update to 6 Owencroft Street Death Investigation


10:33 PM 911 receives a call for a group threatening the residence of 6 Owencroft Street.

10:34 PM Second 911 call received stating four to five males outside the residence of 6 Owencroft Street and making life-threatening comments.

10:37 PM Two Boston Police Units are dispatched to investigate a report of a group threatening. Simultaneously the dispatcher calls back the caller to confirm that the address is 6 Owencroft and not 60 Owencroft.

10:43 PM 911 receives a calls for shots fired at 6 Owencroft Street. Dispatcher upgrades call to BPD units en route.

10:44 PM BPD Unit arrives on-scene and confirms shots have been fired and person shot.

Whether the police responded as quickly as they possibly could or not can be debated until the proverbial cows come home. But, one thing is undeniably certain here - they were unable to prevent Ms. Nguyen's senseless murder.

Even Boston Mayor Tom Menino has acknowledged in the past that the police simply cannot effectively respond to and prevent every act of violence in the city.

From August of 2004, in response to a fatal shooting of an auto mechanic in Dorchester:

Earlier yesterday, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said police could not have prevented the mechanic's shooting.

"How could the police prevent that?" Menino said. "The guy doesn't like his grease job, so he pulls out a gun and shoots him?"

So, today, Menino announces his latest (and most sensible, given his track record) "get tough on crime" initiative - more cops.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday that he intends to boost the Boston Police Department by about 140 officers over the next year in response to the surge in violent crime troubling several neighborhoods of the city.

The increase is double the 70 new officers that Menino called for when he unveiled his city budget proposal in April, and the addition appears to be aimed at quelling the pressure from community leaders and city councilors over violence in the city.

Will it make a difference?

Well, here's what Boston Police Department Superintendent, Bobbie Johnson, had to say following the quadruple homicide of four young men in a basement recording studio in Dorchester back in December of 2005:

"I'd like to reiterate that this incident happened in the basement, not outside," Johnson told reporters at the scene late last night. "Even if we had had 100 cops on the beat, we wouldn't have been able to prevent it."

Bottom line, if someone is wholeheartedy intent on causing you or your loved ones grievous bodily harm, there isn't a whole helluva lot the police or politicians will be able to do to stop them.

Yet, it remains to this day the official policy of the Menino administration that the most decent, law-abiding citizens of Boston be kept powerless to defend themselves from the predatory criminals who roam the streets at will, and terrorize the city with impunity.

So, remember, when the nice young man from the Brotherhood of Narcotics Distribution Engineers Local 357 is busting your door down at 3:00 AM (and you don't happen to have your own personal, taxpayer-funded, armed security detail), just do as the mayor says.