Civil Liberties Issues Main Topic Transparency

Justice for Army Spc. Denis Reynoso!

We hope you will join us in supporting the family of Army Spc. Denis Reynoso on  Thursday December 5th. For more information on the necessity of this rally, the Mass Pirates are pleased today to welcome a guest post from Alex Marthews of Digital Fourth:

by Alex Marthews on November 13, 2013

We like to think that we’re safe in our homes, and that if we need the police, we can call on them to help protect us. That’s what we tell our children – I have two – and I’d like to think it was more consistently the truth than it is.

Today’s story comes from Lynn, MA, which in September saw an Army reservist shot to death in his home by police in front of his five-year-old son.


(Army Spc. Denis Reynoso)

Police were called after Spc. Reynoso yelled at a man, who then drove away. Two police officers arrived at the Reynoso home on Newcastle Street in the King’s Lynne housing complex, and they appear to have entered the home without either a warrant or the permission of the residents, which would clearly violate the Fourth Amendment. The police version of events is that during the ensuing argument, Spc. Reynoso lunged for one of the police officers’ weapon, and fearing for their lives, the police fatally shot him. The family point out that there is no way to confirm that Spc. Reynoso did lunge for an officer’s gun, and no public information as to why he might do so; that he was unarmed, that they shot him anyway, and that they then searched the house for any drugs or contraband that would provide justification for their actions, without a warrant and without finding anything.

The excuse used by the police – that he “lunged” for the gun – is inherently unprovable. It’s such a hoary old chestnut when it comes to defending the indefensible that it has been immortalized in song. Perhaps that’s why they thought of it.

If the whole case weren’t so sad, leaving a little boy and a young woman bereaved of someone who should have lived to be there for them, the poor quality of the excuse used would be comical. The press should be very cautious about believing such excuses uncritically. This is not Chicago; this is real life.

There has already been one rally in his memory, during which his fiancee Jessica Spinney confronted Lynn PD about the case:

There will be another rally December 5 in Boston at the State House, and we encourage readers of the Digital Fourth blog (and supporters of the Mass Pirates!) to come along and show their support for the family.

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