Woonsocket Call

Family of man shot by police seeks new state investigat­ion


BOSTON (AP) — The family of a man shot multiple times by police following a confrontat­ion outside a Boston hospital is calling on state officials to open an independen­t investigat­ion into his death last February.

Juston Root’s family are among those taking part in a rally at the Massachuse­tts Statehouse on Friday organized by the group Mass Action Against Police Brutality.

Organizers say they want Gov. Charlie Baker and state Attorney General Maura Healey to reopen the case. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office concluded last March that the officer’s use of force was “objectivel­y reasonable and justified.”

The 41-year-old Root was shot 26 times at close range after threatenin­g security guards at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Feb. 7, 2020.

Root appeared to be armed, but police later determined it was a replica BB gun.

Officers opened fire, and at some point, a hospital parking attendant was shot, but not fatally. Root fled in a car and was eventually was killed by police in Brookline, Massachuse­tts after crashing.

Root’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last year against the officers involved.

They maintain he had bipolar and schizoaffe­ctive disorders and was seriously wounded and posed no threat when the six officers fired dozens of shots at him.

Harvard commenceme­nt to

be held online, again

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard University’s spring graduation ceremony will be replaced by a virtual event for the second year in a row amid concerns over the coronaviru­s pandemic, the Ivy League school announced Friday.

In a message to students, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow called it “deeply disappoint­ing” but said health and safety must be the top priority.

“Though circumstan­ces may well improve by spring, it takes months of planning to prepare for our usual festivitie­s, which draw to campus and to Cambridge thousands of people from around the world,” he said. “Right now, the risk posed by that possibilit­y is too great.”

Bacow vowed to bring the graduating class back to campus for an “unforgetta­ble” graduation celebratio­n at some point in the future, a promise that was also made to last year’s graduating class.

The online event is scheduled for May 27 and will feature a keynote address from Ruth Simmons, the president of Prairie View A&M University and a former president of Brown University and Smith College.

Harvard graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail, Bacow said.

The school typically hosts elaborate graduation ceremonies with festivitie­s that span days. Recent speakers at the main event include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and director Steven Spielberg.

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