Governor Deval Patrick refused to comment at length on the Parole Board’s decision to release Dominic Cinelli in 2008. Cinelli was released by the board from his sentence of three life terms in prison and allegedly murdered Woburn police officer Jack Maguire during a December 26th armed robbery.
“The thing that, for me, gets lost in this — and I was thinking about this at the funeral last week — is that we jump immediately to the recriminations and we forget there’s a human tragedy there, a family that’s been upended,” Patrick said.
According to Boston.com, Patrick “[urged] a wait-and-see posture until an official review of the Parole Board’s actions is completed”
A check of Governor Patrick’s press releases found on his website could uncover no mention of Officer Maguire. Patrick did attend Officer Maguire’s funeral.
Interestingly enough, Patrick was quick to comment on the Professor Gates/Sergeant Crowley incident in 2009:
“In some ways this is every black man’s nightmare and a reality for many black men,” Patrick told a crush of reporters at an impromptu press conference in a hallway at the State House. “And as you understand the sequence of events — if I understand the sequence of events because, remember I wasn’t there and the only understanding I have is from what I’ve read — I guess I would say you ought to be able to raise your voice in your own house without risk of arrest.”Patrick spoke in a somber tone as he offered his strongest comments in the week since Gates’s arrest for disorderly conduct inside his home near Harvard Square. The governor declined, however, to discuss President Obama’s comment Wednesday night during a nationally televised press conference that Cambridge police “acted stupidly.” Patrick said the president was “quite capable of speaking for himself.”
The governor told reporters that he had left a phone message for Gates but had not spoken to him. From what he had read in the media and the police report, Patrick said he understood how Gates felt.
“Have I ever had the experience of feeling powerless in a situation like that? Sure I have,” Patrick said. “When I was a student at Milton Academy, I remember — a new student fresh from Chicago, a teenager taking walks to the local convenience store — being stopped for no reason than just being on the sidewalk.”
Earlier today in a chat with readers on Boston.com, Patrick said it was “upsetting to me that an individual cannot raise his voice in his own home without risking arrest.”
“For me the aftermath of this incident shows something I have noticed over the years about our discourse on race,” Patrick said in the chat. “I feel in this country that we struggle to find a way to balance the extraordinary progress we have made on the path of racial justice with an acknowledgment of the work that remains. Some want to act as if the struggle is over and the issues are gone. Others act as if nothing has changed in the last hundred years. Neither perspective is quite right, in my view and experience.”
A less cynical person would say that Patrick has learned his lesson in the past eighteen months. However, after his championing cuts to the Quinn Bill, attacks on police pensions, promotion of flagmen in lieu of cops on the street, his failure to recognize his campaign promise of 1,000 more cops in the state, and his failure to graduate one State Police academy class in his entire term, I think the cops have earned the right to be cynical when it comes to the Governor.