Chief remains quiet, NPR pissy on Truong coerced confession case

WBUR’s David Boeri has some followup on the case of a Worcester teen who confessed to killing her baby, then was set free when the judge found the confession was coerced.

Among other things, Boeri covers Chief Gemme’s recent, ellipses-filled social media feuds, and the chief’s unwillingness to sit down for an interview. I’m left wondering what questions Boeri wants answered—presumably some clarification on what is OK and not OK in interrogations, but I’m just guessing.

Not a lot new here for people who’ve been following this, though I did enjoy this quote from City Councilor Rushton:

“When you use the words like ‘cognitive bias,’ you’re indicating that you believe that a judge has a mental disorder,” Rushton said, “really puts a chilling effect, I believe, and it shows a lack of professionalism.”

I do not think cognitive bias means what he thinks it means.

5 thoughts on “Chief remains quiet, NPR pissy on Truong coerced confession case

  1. I posted a link to the latest WBUR/Boeri update on the case, without comment, to the WPD Facebook earlier today. Within 2 minutes, it was gone, as were my rights to post on that page.

    Talking to some folks tonight, it appears that ALL posting has been disabled. You can still comment on a post, but you cannot create a new post.

    Also, there’s a pile of anything-less-than-glowing comments and posts that have all been deleted. The whole page was scrubbed of anything besides pro-Gemme/pro-WPD content.

  2. Also, to your question “wondering what questions Boeri wants answered”, it seems very clear to me: He wants to know where the chief stands on the case, given the legal smackdown that his department and detectives got. I think it’s a fair question, and it deserves a better answer than “go ask the District Attorney” or “Have a nice day”.

    It’d be one thing if the chief was smart, and declined to comment. I wouldn’t like that, but I could at least respect that level of basic intelligence and professionalism. But, he isn’t smart or professional, and he has been dropping comments in every forum he can utilize where he knows he won’t have to face any actual questions.

  3. I understand what you mean, Mike. It would (perhaps) have worked better as a multi-part episode, especially for those who have not been following this story as close as we have.

    Part of the concern (as I understand it from Boeri’s story) is that these detectives are not being held to account. I think this would have been more effective if he could have established a pattern (of either forced confessions — which is unclear — or other officers not being reprimanded for their behavior).

  4. a) The Truong case–there is information about that case that has not been released. It pertains to her younger brother who was killed or died of SIDS years earlier. I am just curious, but I am with the cops on this. Wouldnt you be a bit enraged at a woman possibly killing her own kid? The detectives were not given good or proper training. That’s all.

    b) Twitter wars–let’s forget about them for now, OK? There have been FOUR deaths in the 701 Main St zone in the last few months: the guy who was killed behind Santiago’s plus these recent three. Despite the extra cops in place there, we have had a lot more crimes (the Chandler-Oxford shooting–was that related to the Providence St gang?)

  5. In 2006 the Telegram showed on a map how the Piedmont Street area (ie the “Village of Piedmont”) was the center of homicides in Worcester county with 6 out of 11 committed there.

    As a resident of the area and with the arrival of the triage back to 701 Main Street, I have done a lot of personal tours and walks through all the bad parts (with my dogs) to get a handle on the situations as they arise. And I try to be objective whether the person I meet is a client, a home owner or a police officer.

    I know the City is trying very hard to keep a lid on that situation. It’s frustrating for them. And me.

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