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News ::
Boston Police brutality (english)
09 Sep 2002
Modified: 10 Sep 2002
Boston Police killed 25-year old Eveline Barros-Cepeda, mother of a
toddler, by shooting her in the back of the head. She was riding in
the back seat of a car that police say ran a red light and then hit
a cop who had stepped out in front of the car.
Police fatally shoot woman in fleeing car

Officer injured; driver on the run

By Raphael Lewis and Corey Dade, Globe Staff, 9/9/2002

A 25-year-old Dorchester woman riding in a car that police say had just run down a police officer
died early yesterday after the officer's partner fired five rounds at the rear of the fleeing vehicle,
Boston Police Department officials said.

Eveline Barros-Cepeda, the mother of a 2-year-old son, was the fourth person this year to die in a
shooting by Boston police, officials said, and the eighth in the past 22 months.

The officer police said was struck by the Taurus was released from Boston Medical Center
yesterday after being treated for leg injuries. Police would not identify the seven-year veteran.

Police had begun following the car Barros-Cepeda was riding in at 1:20 a.m. after it ran a red light
in Dorchester. The driver, whom police have not located, failed to stop when they pursued the
white Ford Taurus ''at a reasonable speed'' with lights flashing and sirens wailing, officials said.

The shooting occurred after the vehicle crossed into a neighborhood where two other officers were
conducting a separate investigation. As the vehicle approached the intersection where the officers
were standing, police said, one of the officers tried to step in front of the Taurus and was struck,
landing on the hood of the car.

''We need to look into that sequence of events. We need to interview both of those officers,'' said
Deputy Superintendent Paul Farrahar, at a press briefing at police headquarters yesterday.

The shooting renewed calls from some community leaders for an examination of how police officers
are trained in the use of deadly force.

A police review board is contemplating changes to the department's rules, which prohibit shooting
at moving vehicles ''unless there are no reasonable or apparent means of escape.''

The Rev. Ray Hammond, chairman of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, said it was clear to him from
the way police described the incident that there is a flaw in police training.

''This is not just an unmitigated tragedy; it demands an immediate response in policy training and in
the needs of the family,'' Hammond said.

''I think we need to hear very quickly what the department is going to do to change procedures to
ensure we don't have any more situations like this.''

Police were searching last night for the driver and two other passengers who jumped from the
moving car and ran off.

On nearby Wayland Street yesterday, mourners gathered at the white Victorian home where
Barros-Cepeda lived for three years with her son and several relatives.

The Taurus belonged to Barros-Cepeda's mother, and two of the passengers were cousins of the
victim.

One of the cousins, whom friends identified as Maria Da Rosa, 21, of Perth Street in Dorchester,
suffered head injuries after apparently diving from the car in front of her home shortly after the shots
were fired, while the car was still moving. She was taken to Boston Medical Center, where friends
said she received stitches to the back of her head.

Police said they found a woman bleeding with head injuries on Perth Street. The woman, whom
police declined to identify, had apparently jumped from the car.

But a man who identified himself as a close friend of Da Rosa interviewed outside her hospital room
yesterday said she told him she jumped from the Taurus and was struck by a pursuing cruiser.

The man, who declined to give his name, said Da Rosa and her cousin, a male passenger police
have yet to interview, met with a lawyer at the hospital yesterday afternoon. The friend said they
contend the pursuing police cruiser never turned on its lights or siren.

Da Rosa, according to the friend, acknowledged the Taurus ran the red light.

Police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns said last night that version of events ''was inconsistent with
the information [police] have at this point.''

Police would not identify the nine-year veteran who fired at the car. Farrahar said the officer was
placed on sick leave.

Police are seeking a search warrant for the impounded Taurus, and plan to interview all the officers
involved today.

The episode began when the Taurus ran the light at Columbia Road and Hancock Street in Uphams
Corner, police said. The cruiser turned on its lights and siren, but the Taurus, carrying five people,
''refused to stop,'' Farrahar said.

The cruiser followed the Taurus. Eventually, the car turned onto Dunkeld Street in Dorchester, and
came upon the other two officers at the intersection with Fayston Street, Farrahar said.

After the car hit the officer, police said, his partner fired at least five shots into the rear of the
Taurus, shattering the back window. Barros-Cepeda, sitting in the center of the back seat, was hit
by two bullets, police said.

Two people who witnessed part of the episode said they did not see the Taurus strike an officer,
but said they did see a policeman on one knee firing at the Taurus.

After the shooting, the police cruiser that had begun the chase found the Taurus at the nearby
intersection of Quincy and Dacia streets. All four doors were open, and it was rolling slowly
forward. Only Barros-Cepeda remained in the car, Farrahar said. She was taken to the hospital
and pronounced dead.

Glen Christopher, a neighbor and family friend of Barros-Cepeda, said he was outraged that an
officer would shoot at the rear of a car full of people who, regardless of what the driver had done,
were apparently innocent.

''Why would you shoot [from] behind the car, you know? His life was definitely not in danger. The
car was gone by already,'' said Christopher, who has lived on Wayland Street for 13 years.

''I think the mayor should come down here and console this family and explain what's going on,'' he
said.

Carole Brennan, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said, ''This case is under
investigation pretty carefully, and he is reviewing it with the commissioner [Paul Evans] at this
point.''

Funeral services for Barros-Cepeda will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church in Roxbury.

David Abel of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 9/9/2002.
Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
See also:
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/252/metro/Police_fatally_shoot_woman_in_fleeing_carP.shtml
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Comments

call it what it is. (english)
09 Sep 2002
this isn't a case of police brutality. this is MURDER. call it what it is.
Homeland terrorism (english)
10 Sep 2002
How could a car going through a red light at 1:30 in the morning pose such a danger to the public that it needed to be pursued at all? Who says it was a reasonable speeds? In most accidents answers are given within a few hours. In this case, it takes behind the scene machinations to come up with a good story that the gullible public will believe.