Many questions remain unanswered from George Hassett’s July 16th Somerville Journal article “Somerville vet awarded $225K after police beating“.
Here are my questions. Feel free to add your own!
- Are SPD officers James Slattery, Sean Sylvester and Kevin Shackelford still on the job? If so, why?
- What information is in these officers’ records? Have they been involved in any other acts of brutality?
- The article mentions that Slattery hit Romelus in the head. What did the other two officers do in the attack?
- Was Romelus’ beating racially motivated? Do the words “watch your mouth, boy” indicate racial bias?
- What is known about that “possible drug deal” behind the building that the officers were allegedly investigating?
- Why would three officers attack Romelus while he was working?
- How did other employees and customers in Good Time Emporium react when the incident took place?
- Why did they attack him so brutally?
- Why did it take a year before Mayor Curtatone learned about the incident? That seems like an incredibly long time for such a bizarre situation to go unnoticed. It seems especially odd given that the city’s prosecution of Romelus resolved in July 2007, almost exactly one year after the incident. So, if the city was prosecuting him, why was the mayor kept in the dark? That doesn’t seem possible.
- Since Romelus was “willing to avoid filing suit against the city if prosecutors and police dropped the criminal charges”, then why did the city continue to prosecute him knowing that they had a weak hand to play? Because of our city’s incompetence, we’ve now lost $255k of tax payer money.
- Why did City Solicitor Gannon try to hide the settlement from the BOA?
- Why did Alderman White threaten to eliminate the settlement funds? What would have been the consequence of that?
- What did SPD Chief Holloway tell the BOA to convince them to approve the funds?
- Has the city ever made any other settlements of this nature?
Updates on Aug 2, 2009 :
- This Aug 31, 2005 SJ article documents Romelus’ completion of basic training with the Marines.
- This July 12, 2006 SJ article documents the incident at Good Time Emporium from the police briefs.