On Tuesday, the Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced his finding that the 2013 fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Darryl Dookhran was justified. Dookhran was one of 12 people shot to death by police in Massachusetts during 2013, the deadliest year for police shootings in the state in recent memory. According to a press release posted online by the Suffolk Country District Attorney's Office:
[T]he investigation showed that [Officer Ryan] Lenane, [Sergeant Thomas] Teahan, and [Officer William] Traft had been assigned to search for a firearm that Boston Police believed had been discarded in the area after a shooting the night before. While en route to their Ridgewood Street destination in an unmarked cruiser, Traft spotted Dookhran and another man walking on Geneva Avenue, and recognized him from a recent bulletin from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center indicating that he was affiliated with a gang based on Favre Street and was believed to carry a firearm.
In light of the bulletin and their familiarity with Dookhran, the officers pulled up to speak with him. Lenane first addressed Dookhran through the open window of the cruiser, asking if the officers could speak with him. Dookhran did not respond. When Lenane and Teahan opened their doors, Dookhran immediately began to run up Geneva Avenue. Lenane and Teahan gave chase on foot. Traft, who had remained in the cruiser to use its mobile data terminal, exited the cruiser to join them. All of their service weapons were holstered.
The man who had been walking with Dookhran – later identified as CHRISTOPHER MURRAIN (D.O.B. 7/9/87) – stepped into Lenane’s path and shoulder-checked him to block him from pursuit. Murrain later pleaded guilty to assault and battery on a police officer in Dorchester Municipal Court and received a two-year house of correction sentence with six months deemed served and the balance suspended for two years.
As Dookhran ran, the evidence showed, he turned and fired a .380 caliber Ruger LCP semiautomatic handgun at the officers, hitting Lenane in the left arm. He turned right onto Westville Street and continued running with the three officers in pursuit and returning fire with their service weapons, which they had now removed from their holsters.
Dookhran turned and fired again at the officers, this time missing them. Lenane and Teahan also fired. Dookhran was struck in the left upper arm and head. The officers immediately called for an ambulance. Paramedics pronounced Dookhran dead at the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the fatal injury was a gunshot wound to the head that travelled generally upward from the front right to back left. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner also recovered a bag containing five .380 caliber rounds from Dookhran’s clothing.
Attorney Howard Friedman said that Darryl Dookhran's family was upset with how the district attorney handled the investigation of the shooting.
Friedman said that the family "learned of their loved one’s death from television reports rather than being notified by the police department."
Friedman said that it took over a year for the district attorney's office to provide information about Dookhran's death even though they obtained video of the incident shortly after it happened.
Friedman said that the family had asked the district attorney "for an opportunity to review and understand the DA’s finding before the report was made public" and he initially agreed, but then provided information about the shooting to the family only minutes before he provided it to news media, which did not give them any time to review it.
Dookhran's brother Devon had previously spoken out about how his family was being treated by the district attorney at a public forum on police shootings the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury last December.
“It’s been more than a year,” he said, according to The Boston Globe. “And neither the district attorney nor the Boston Police Department has said anything yet. They claimed to have a video of the shooting and promised my family they would show it to us in February [of 2014]. Now it’s December.”
Friedman said he and two of Dookhran's family members attended a meeting with Daniel Conley and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans on Tuesday and asked why they were not provided with more information about the shooting, including an opportunity to view the video, for over a year.
"Conley said that has been the way things are done in his office. However, he agreed that in the future, when police officers in Suffolk County kill someone, the DA’s office will permit the family to view information, including video, quickly. This will be an improvement for other families," Friedman said.