Policing the Police – Talbot’s death raises troubling questions

Now that Robert Iacoviello has been convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of off-duty Revere police officer Daniel Talbot, he has begun his long journey into darkness.

His stay inside the Massachusetts penal system for the next two decades of his life will surely take its toll on him .

There are many in this society who believe that if you take a life, your life should be taken from you.

This thinking has no place in Massachusetts, where the death penalty does not exist.

Massachusetts chooses to kill the prisoners it holds inside its prisons slowly but surely or to allow other violent prisoners to prey on inmates the way animals slaughter one another in the jungle.

Iacoviello has gone into this nightmare of darkness.

He has been found guilty and he has been punished.

But what about the off-duty Revere police officers who were drunk and carrying their guns, whose actions on the ball field behind Revere High School where Talbot died surely had something to do with his tragic and untimely death?

What punishment should they face or is their no need to discipline them even though a life was lost on their watch?

Had they not been acting irresponsibly, had they not been drinking at 1:30 a.m. and carrying firearms and taunting gang bangers minding their own business, Dan Talbot might still be alive.

Had they chosen to act responsibly instead of getting drunken on the ball field at Revere High School, Dan Talbot might not have died senselessly.

In part, everyone with Talbot that day and then that night and into the early morning should all be held responsible for their actions. That they were all police officers makes holding them responsible for their actions even more important.

Have they suffered enough, as Revere Police Chief Terence Reardon has told us?

Or should they be made to pay the price for their outrageous behavior, which led to the death of their friend and colleague?

The Revere chief will tell you that these officers can not be removed.

The chief tells us Civil Service won’t allow such a finding and besides, its up to the appointing authority – the mayor – to order such Draconian punishments, not the chief.

In Revere, in the wake of a homicide of an officer where all the officers present were intoxicated and carrying guns, nothing can be done but to the point .

Nothing will be done because no one in leadership is willing to step forward to demand that something be done, that the existing culture be changed, that those who were there, who share in the horrible responsibility for the events that unfolded that night when Officer Talbot was murdered, should be held accountable for their actions.

As the chief said: “Why should they be punished? They’ve already suffered enough.”

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