Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Could "Justice For All" Be On Its Way?

Well, let me put it this way. That breathing sound you're hearing is me not holding my breath. Though, this story has taken a step (if ever so slowly) in the right direction.

Grand jury to decide in cop shooting case

It's taken nearly a month for Boston police and the Suffolk District Attorney'’s office to complete their preliminary investigation, but the embarrassing case of a Boston cop who allegedly shot a fellow officer following a long night of boozing is headed to a grand jury.

"Embarrassing"? Interesting choice of modifier there. I'd have gone with "disgraceful" or "inexcusable" myself. But, hey, that's just me.

While investigators sift through the evidence, taxpayers have shelled out $8,788, or $338 each day, to keep the two cops at the center of the investigation, officers Joseph Behnke and Paul Durkin, on paid leave.

Your tax dollars, as usual, hard at work.

Sources have told the Herald that early on June 22, Durkin, a 26-year veteran assigned to C-ll, and Behnke, who joined the department in 2002, went bar-hopping through Dorchester with fellow officers before they arrived at Behnke'’s West Roxbury home.

When Durkin attempted to leave, an argument erupted between the pair and Durkin allegedly shot Behnke with his department-issued sidearm. Behnke was treated for a gunshot wound to the hip.

Durkin's lawyer, Thomas Drechsler, refused to say what happened. "I'm confident my client committed no crime and that when the investigation is concluded the grand jury will not return an indictment," he said.

I'd be confident too, just so long as my homespun definition of "crime" excluded such things as assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (did I miss any?).

If it was you or me, you could throw the phrase "with intent to murder" into the mix, and no one in the DA's office would so much as blink an eye.