Boston Commander Fired Pepper Pellets At Crowd


A Boston police commander in charge of the area where a 21-year-old college student was shot and killed was one of four officers who fired pepper pellets into the crowds celebrating the Red Sox pennant victory, the Boston Globe reports. Deputy Superintendent Robert E. O’Toole commands the Boston Police Department’s Special Operations Unit, which includes the tactical team that used new high-force pepper-pellet guns early Thursday for the first time outside training. Shots from the guns killed Victoria E. Snelgrove, tore a hole in the cheek of a Cambridge man, 24, and pierced the skill of a 19-year-old Boston University student.

The Web site for FN Herstal, the gun manufacturer, says, “For safety reasons, never aim towards face, throat, or neck.” Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole, who is not related to Robert O’Toole, would not say whether he had been trained to use the rifle or whether an officer in a commanding role for such a major event also would perform street-level crowd control with the officers he’s supervising.


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