Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Why a Judge Denied an Attempt to Dismiss Brockton Police Negligent Operations Charges

In May of 2021, the former chief of the Brockton Police veered off the road on I-495 before striking two vehicles. The police cruiser went across three lanes, and the crash injured five people – including one toddler. He subsequently faced charges for negligent driving – although he initially walked free after the crash. The case went completely unreported for months – and it was only after an NBC investigation that the incident came to light. Reporters also discovered that this police chief had been charged with negligent driving before and that he had attempted to have these charges dismissed. Now, this individual is attempting to have these new charges dismissed as well – and he is not having much success. But why exactly did a judge deny his attempt to have his charges dismissed? 

Former Police Chief Faces Overwhelming Evidence Against Him

When denying the attempt to have the case dismissed, the presiding judge pointed at various forms of evidence laid out against the defendant. This evidence includes testimony from numerous eyewitnesses who saw the police cruiser veer across three lanes of traffic before striking multiple vehicles. The judge stated that this evidence was "clearly sufficient" and specifically highlighted testimony from a Massachusetts State Police trooper who responded to the scene of the crash. 

Speaking about the crash, this State Police trooper explained:

"He essentially didn't know what happened, and I pointed out what had happened, that he came off the ramp, that he rear-ended a vehicle in the breakdown lane, and he went out into the highway and collided with another SUV. So I pointed it out to him."

Interestingly, it seems that a private citizen issued a criminal complaint against the former police chief. Initially, no police authority brought about these charges. The complaint states that:

"It seems on review that the Police Chief had absolutely no control of the vehicle at any time during the crash. The only plausible reason is that the Police Chief was, literally, asleep at the wheel. This is supported by the Chief's own statement 'it all happened so fast. I do not know what happened.'"

Evidence is an Important Consideration for Judges When Dismissing Criminal Cases

Judges must review evidence when considering whether or not to accept a petition to dismiss criminal cases. Specifically, under Commonwealth v. Daley, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 254 (2006), the "danger must come from Defendant's driving" in the case of a negligent driving charge. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston?

If you have been searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney in Boston, look no further than the Law Office of Edward R. Molari. With our assistance, you can strive to have your criminal charges dismissed quickly. While this police chief might have failed to have his charges dismissed, there are many situations in which this strategy can be successful. Reach out today to discuss your legal options and get started with an effective defense strategy.