Walsh, Gross react to 12 shootings in 3 days

Mayor Walsh and Police Commissioner Willie Gross said on Tuesday that Boston city departments and other agencies convened ahead of the Labor Day holiday to plan violence prevention and response efforts. Walsh said some sort of violence “is not unusual for Labor Day weekend,” although he said any act of violence, at any time, is unacceptable. Gross characterized the weekend as a long one, with 12 unrelated shootings in the city.

“At this time, our investigations reveal that none of the 12 shootings are connected,” the commissioner said, adding his thanks to residents whose 911 calls helped police make gun arrests or “facilitate investigations.”

“It was a long weekend,” he said. “Instead of being hyper-critical, for some folks, get out there and talk to your constituency, because a lot of the kids that are involved in the shootings or in drag-racing or fireworks are part of your constituency. The police can’t wear all the hats. We need everyone to do their jobs, not point fingers.”

Gross said he welcomes an eventual full reopening of the court system, which, like many entities, has had to rethink its operations to accommodate the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We definitely welcome the courts to reopen. There’s the COVID-19 situation that prevents them from doing so, but whether it’s virtually or until that time, we need the courts to be open, because these individuals causing violence in our neighborhoods should be locked up,” Gross said. “That’s why you have 12 shootings within three days. There has to be some accountability.”

Like other parts of the state’s court system, Boston Municipal Court and Suffolk Superior Court are open for in-person proceedings on a limited basis and with health and safety protocols in place, with other matters conducted virtually. Jury trials originally scheduled to start between March 14 and Sept. 4 were ordered to be continued to dates no earlier than Tuesday, Sept. 8, and no new grand jury could be empaneled before Tuesday unless ordered by the Supreme Judicial Court.