Mass. chief backs UOF during vigil for fallen officer
At a candlelight vigil for fallen Officer Michael Chesna, Weymouth's chief of police slammed the country's "negative attitude" surrounding use of force
By Jacqueline Tempera
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
WEYMOUTH, Mass. — At a candlelight vigil for fallen cop Michael Chesna, Weymouth's chief of police slammed the country's "negative attitude" surrounding police use of force.
"Hesitation gets officers harmed," Police Chief Richard Grimes said.
Speaking before a crowd of thousands on the Weymouth High School football field, Grimes asked people to consider the pressures that officers face.
It had been a long 36 hours, Grimes said, since he heard the news that Chesna was dead.
Emanuel Lopes, 20, allegedly threw a rock at Chesna's head before taking the officer's department-issued weapon and shooting him 10 times, according to court records. Lopes also allegedly fired into the sunroom of 77-year-old Vera Adams, who was shot in the chest and killed.
Chesna, a 42-year-old Army veteran, would have celebrated his sixth year on the Weymouth police force Monday.
Grimes said he "knew this day would come" - when violence would reach his "police family."
"I'm not surprised that these things happen," Grimes added. "When I first saw high-profile use of force cases from across the country receive such scrutiny, negative views toward police use of force, I knew that would result in police officers being devastated, losing their respect, their homes, sometimes their families."
He asked the crowd to consider how they would react if threatened and given a "split second" to respond.
Grimes said officers need to feel comfortable using their weapons and criticized the public's emphasis on shooting deaths of unarmed people.
"I can tell you that isn't just the gun. Is it a rifle? is it a knife? Could it be a crowbar?" Grimes asked. "Or maybe just a rock."
Grimes asked people listening in person and at home to respect and support the police.
"What happened to Michael was horrific," he said. "It should not happen to someone else."
©2018 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.