Special to the Journal
Mayor Brian M. Arrigo, City Council President Arthur F. Guinasso, Public Safety Subcommittee Chair Councilor Ira Novoselsky, and Police Chief James Guido have issued the following joint statement to address rumors and misstatements that have spread through the city, primarily on social media, regarding police activity in recent days.
A sequence of unrelated events in Revere this past weekend, coupled with an onslaught of inaccurate information about them primarily on social media, spawned unfounded fear in our community. We issue this joint statement to dispel rumors, to apprise the public of the actual circumstances that transpired, and to assure the residents of Revere of our unwavering commitment to public safety.
1. The Incidents
Four incidents, at least three of them involving a firearm, resulted in police response. Two incidents attracted news media attention, as well as unfiltered chatter on social media.
• Thursday night, Revere police reacted to a radio broadcast from Malden Police relating to a shooting incident that took place in Malden. Based on the details contained in the police radio broadcast, Revere Police found and identified the suspect vehicle and several arrests were made. No gunfire or criminal activity occurred in Revere.
• Early Friday morning, Revere police investigated a possible gunshot injury to the foot of a man on Mountain Avenue. The police investigation is ongoing and thus far has produced no conclusions about matter.
• Friday at approximately 5:15 p.m., a 34-year old man from outside of Massachusetts was shot while driving in afternoon rush hour traffic on Route 1A southbound (North Shore Road) near Shawmut Street. State police and news media helicopters hovered over the area in the shooting’s aftermath. Police closed part of North Shore Road and Revere Street, which resulted in unusual traffic jams in the area. Early investigation indicates that the gunfire came from another vehicle. State and Revere police are continuing their investigation.
• Sunday morning at approximately 12:30 a.m., Everett police were involved in a chase that began in Everett and continued into Revere onto Washington Avenue. The chase culminated when an Everett police officer allegedly shot the suspect, a 34-year old Lynn man who later died from his injuries. The incident involved no Revere police and the investigation into the matter is led by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
2. Observations and our Commitment to Public Safety
• Only one of these events actually involved a criminal act in the City of Revere. That act involved at least one non-Massachusetts individual who was travelling in an automobile on a state highway that passes through Revere for approximately three of its 95-mile length.
• Two matters originated in neighboring cities, one culminating in Revere thanks to good police work by Revere officers and one culminating in Revere on the action of an Everett police officer. Neither involved a criminal act in this City.
• Overall crime statistics in Revere have followed a downward trend in recent years. In regard to gang and youth violence. Revere police have implemented dynamic programs such as the Revere Police Youth Academy, the Police Activities League, and have assigned officers specifically to social intervention, community engagement, and crime suppression supported by the Charles E. Shannon Community Safety Initiative grants that are funded by the State Executive Office of Public Safety.
• Staffing levels at the Revere Police Department are at their highest in years, currently at 105 with two more designated to begin training at the Police Academy in the near future and will increase our number to 107.
• While communities across the country confront the proliferation of illegal guns, and opioid abuse fuels criminal activity, Revere has been in the forefront of affirmative steps to prevent crime rather than react to it. The Police Department works continuously with the School Department and Revere’s Office of Substance Abuse Disorder Initiatives to identify potential problems, isolate trouble spots, and foster productive interaction to assist those in need while protecting the public good.
Make no mistake, any type of criminal activity is a cause for concern. But it is irresponsible to heighten those concerns with incomplete, inaccurate, and incendiary commentary on social media. When we do so, our community suffers. It is especially incumbent on those of us in public life and who hold official office in the City of Revere to be conscious of the consequences of our remarks. It is incumbent on us to refrain from hasty, provocative, and unfounded conclusions, lest we mislead and agitate the very people we are sworn to serve.
Tragic events in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio made people especially anxious this weekend. It is regrettable that one unpreventable criminal act in our City was magnified into a crime wave that quite simply does not exist today in the City of Revere. We have full confidence in the capable men and women of the Revere Police Department who are vigilant and committed to protecting and serving the City.