Monthly Archives: August 2011

Teen, Mother Were Slain After A Grand Jury Date

Investigators believe the homicides are connected and have been examining whether Sanchez’s appearance at the courthouse could have led to his death, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case.

It was unclear what, if anything, Sanchez told authorities about the June 5 shooting, which left another man injured. Although the officials told the Globe that Sanchez was brought to court in the hope he would testify, Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said that Sanchez was “not a cooperating witness’’ in Martinez’s homicide or any other slaying.

Diomedes Pimentel, who lost his daughter and grandson in the shooting, said a relative told him that the two went to court together but was unaware of what transpired there.

They died “savagely,’’ he said. “You never think something like this can happen.’’

The killing of Sanchez and his mother, Elvira Pimentel, 43, has renewed concerns about the risks of providing police with information about crimes, a longstanding problem in many Boston neighborhoods. It also underscores the struggle of witnesses who must decide whether to come forward when they live in neighborhoods where even the perception that one has cooperated with authorities can be deadly.

To Britain’s Leader, Hub A Model For Antiviolence

When Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament yesterday he would turn to Boston for lessons in quelling angry riots in London, he caused some head-scratching on this side of the pond.

Was he referring to the Boston Miracle of nearly 15 years ago? Or to the peaceful celebration that followed the Bruins’ triumph this summer while angry fans took to the streets in Vancouver? Is any recent Boston unrest comparable to the London riots, where disenfranchised youths have seized on concerns about police violence to launch mayhem, burning storefronts and stealing flat-screen TVs?

Those involved in Boston’s celebrated 1990s anticrime program were unsurprised, saying the London uprising points to a civil breakdown that demands a new strategy for community policing.

“Violence is deeply rooted in how people feel like they’ve been denied in society. It’s more than just criminality,’’ said the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based community group that works with young people and that partnered with government and law enforcement officials to reduce violence in Boston.

Overcoming The Obstacles To Faith-based Approaches To Crime

We now have data confirming what objective and open-minded observers already knew: that religious commitment and faith-based approaches, as well as the transformative power of faith itself, can be central in reducing crime. We also know that intentional partnerships between communities of faith and law enforcement can lead to dramatic improvement in police-community relations and subsequent reductions in youth violence and gang activity.

The story of what would eventually be called the “Boston Miracle” symbolizes what can happen when concerned congregations and clergy unite to forge long-term and reciprocal partnerships with police and other public agencies in addressing youth violence. In 1990, after youth homicides had hit an all-time high in the greater Boston area, a group of African-American ministers partnered with government agencies and other community-based groups to respond to the violence and gang activity. Youth homicides not only decreased, but for some 18 months, there were no youth homicides in Boston.

Today, more than a decade later, this partnership remains strong and active. Rev. Jeffrey Brown, one of the early leaders of this collaboration, left his role as pastor to pursue this cause full-time. He is now the executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, whose mission is to mobilize the community on behalf of a primarily African-American and Latino population at high risk for violence, drug abuse, and other destructive behavior.