Boston Shuffles Police Command After Student Death


Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole yesterday removed from their commands two senior officers in charge of operations the night police shot and killed a 21-year-old college student with a crowd control projectile, the Boston Globe reports. James Claiborne, who commanded overall operations on Oct. 21 when Red Sox fans rioted around Fenway Park, was transferred to what one police official called “the middle of nowhere,” the Boston Police Academy. Robert O’Toole, who commanded operations near the ballpark and encouraged officers to shoot the FN303 projectiles that killed the student and injured two others, was reassigned to special events planning in the bureau of field services.

The two reassignments were among 12 personnel changes announced, the second major overhaul of the department’s command staff since O’Toole became commissioner in February 2003. In some cases, she ousted the very people she had promoted in the earlier shakeup, including Claiborne and Robert O’Toole, who is not related to the commissioner. Among those demoted were the head of the department’s 911 service, which drew criticism in a survey of residents, and the chief of its beleaguered fingerprint unit, which is being revamped after it was blamed for a wrongful conviction in a police officer’s shooting.


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