State po­lice iden­tify troop­ers in deadly high­way shoot­ing

Woonsocket Call - - Blackstone Valley -

PROVIDENCE ( AP) — Rhode Is­land State Po­lice on Tues­day re­leased the names of the troop­ers in­volved in a deadly shoot­ing on a busy stretch of In­ter­state 95 last week af­ter get­ting pres­sure from civil lib­er­ties ad­vo­cates and days af­ter Providence Po­lice re­leased the names of its of­fi­cers in­volved.

De­tec­tive Lt. Cyn­thia Tra­han, Cpl. Scott R. Carl­sten, De­tec­tive Cpl. Her­bert D. Til­son and Trooper Gar­rett S. Has­sett were iden­ti­fied in a press re­lease as fir­ing 23 shots af­ter Thurs­day's high-speed chase of a pickup truck. All four of­fi­cers have been placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave, the depart­ment said.

The driver of the white pickup, Joseph San­tos, 32, was killed, and pas­sen­ger, Chris­tine De­mers, 37, was in­jured.

Rhode Is­land State Po­lice had re­fused to iden­tify the of­fi­cers for days. Providence Po­lice on Fri­day iden­ti­fied five of its of­fi­cers as in­volved in the shoot­ing and said they had col­lec­tively fired about 20 rounds at the truck.

The Rhode Is­land chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union on Mon­day pushed the agency to name the troop­ers and said its de­ci­sion not to showed "a glar­ing and trou­bling lack of trans­parency." It also called on state po­lice to re­lease its high-speed chase pol­icy, which the agency also did Tues­day.

San­tos was driv­ing the pickup Thurs­day when he led nu­mer­ous of­fi­cers and troop­ers on a high-speed chase along Route 10 and down a con­nec­tor to I-95, where he was stopped. Video shows that he then rammed sur­round­ing cars as of­fi­cers sur­rounded the ve­hi­cle, and of­fi­cers shot him to death. Po­lice have said the shoot­ing was jus­ti­fied be­cause San­tos was putting lives at risk.

At the time, po­lice were look­ing for an­other man, Don­ald Mor­gan, the sub­ject of a manhunt for al­legedly steal­ing a state po­lice cruiser less than two hours be­fore the shoot­ing. Mor­gan, who had been charged with ob­struc­tion and pos­ses­sion of a stolen mo­tor ve­hi­cle, was hand­cuffed and be­ing taken to court by a trooper iden­ti­fied Tues­day as Michael J. Do­herty.

State po­lice said Do­herty saw an ac­ci­dent, so he pulled over and got out of the car to re­spond, leav­ing Mor­gan hand­cuffed in the cruiser. Po­lice said Mor­gan was able to steal the ve­hi­cle, ditch­ing it in Providence.

Po­lice search­ing for Mor­gan that morn­ing re­ceived a tip that he may have jumped into the back of a white pickup.

It was still not clear Tues­day why San­tos fled and whether the two in­ci­dents were con­nected. Mor­gan's ex­girl­friend told news out­lets Mor­gan and San­tos were close friends, and Providence Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Steven Pare told WPRI-TV that in­ves­ti­ga­tors were look­ing into whether San­tos helped Mor­gan escape.

"We have been since Thurs­day," he told the sta­tion.

State Po­lice Col. Ann As­sumpico said both the chase and cruiser theft are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. She said the depart­ment also is re­view­ing its po­lices and pro­to­cols and that she has or­dered par­ti­tions be in­stalled be­tween the front and back seats of all marked Rhode Is­land State Po­lice cruis­ers as soon as pos­si­ble. Do­herty's cruiser didn't have one.

Steven Brown, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the ACLU, said on Tues­day that it was too early to say whether po­lice had vi­o­lated poli­cies. But he pointed out that both Providence and state po­lice gen­er­ally limit high­speed pur­suits to two cars, which Thurs­day's pur­suit ex­ceeded.

"In light of the pol­icy's recog­ni­tion of the dan­ger of these pur­suits, it is dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend why per­mis­sion was given (as­sum­ing it was given) for so many cruis­ers to be in­volved in the chase," Brown wrote in an email.

Mor­gan was ar­rested Fri­day and was or­dered held with­out bail fol­low­ing a court ap­pear­ance Tues­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.