Transcript of a question and answer session following the announcement by Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis of a development in the Norfleet Homicide Investigation. Commissioner Davis was joined by Reverend Jeffrey Brown of Union Baptist Church, Reverend William Dickerson of Greater Love Tabernacle Church, and Reverend Darnell Williams, CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
QUESTION ONE: You talk about a collaboration with the community. What role if any did that play in the arrest? You said that the arrests were based on a traffic stop. And a subsequent investigation led to the finding of the weapons, and the linking of the weapons to the Norfleet murder. What role did community involvement or community collaboration play in this arrest, if any?
ANSWER: The stop was made by several units of the Boston Police Department, but I think most notably one of the key individuals in this stop was a Boston Housing Officer. She has done a tremendous job in community policing outreach. She knows who the people are, in the areas of her responsibility, she knows them personally and that particular piece of information played a vital role in identifying the people responsible.
I also want to stress that I can talk a lot about the community side of this, and I can probably answer all questions that I can, but on the homicide side of things, that investigation is very active and ongoing, so I’m going to be limited in what I can say
QUESTION: Are these weapons linked in any way to any other shootings? Or anything… Are you looking outside the State?
(Rev Brown🙂 I want to answer the first question. I believe that the collaboration as relates to Reverend Brown, Rev Culppepper, and of the Urban League Reverend Darnell Williams and others… we will send a message: let’s work together, let’s not promote any more violence, let’s promote peace. Lets not rush to judgment. So that’s where the collaboration comes in because the Police Commissioner, not even the Boston Police can handle all of Boston residents as it relates to us getting out the message. So the more tight and consent our collaboration is, as it relates to a positive message, that will help, I believe, curtail some things. That’s what I believe our collaboration will help in this regard.
QUESTION: So in addition to forums like this, is that message being given personally, out on the street, and from pulpits, and meetings …
(Rev Brown): Exactly.
QUESTION: Commissioner, I know you can’t discuss an ongoing investigation, but it’s clear from the charges, that the shooter hasn’t been identified?
QUESTION:And what about the weapons? Are you looking at the possibility of other crimes, maybe out of state —
I can’t comment about this specific investigation, but as a matter of protocol all the crime guns that we confiscate are tested against other crimes, so that’s part of every ongoing investigation.
QUESTION: When did the ballistic and fingerprint evidence come back? Late yesterday, or —
I can’t get into details of when exactly things happened, it is all part of an ongoing investigation.
QUESTION:Is there anything also that can be said about why he (suspect Jerome Brody) would be in possession of the guns that were used in the Norfleet killing but would not be considered a suspect?
I would not comment on that.
QUESTION: He’s from Everett. Do we know what his relationship to that neighborhood is, and his relationship to Norfleet?
I don’t know about if there’s any relationship with the victim. I can tell you that we have several addresses on this individual. Everett has been one that popped up most frequently… but he was found in Boston early this morning, so he moves around, I can\’t say exactly where he\’s from.
QUESTION: There’s no connection to that neighborhood? Had he lived there —
(Rev Williams): One of the reasons we were, that we stated is that we don’t want to focus on if he has or hasn’t a specific address. The reasons we’re being very specific about that is we don’t want people jumping to conclusions; that we\’re not saying he\’s from whatever or wherever. We don’t want people to read into anything, so that we can make sure we keep the peace, and we promote peace. Because if you say he’s from East Boston, then that raises the ire in East Boston. If you say he\’s from Jamaica Plain, that brings in another reaction. What we are trying to say, is we do know he’s from Everett, not from anyplace else at this point in time, because we\’re trying to scale it down, make sure that we work in collaboration with the police until this thing gets resolved. So that’s the reasons why we, why we\’re emphasizing that it\’s not where he\’s from or whatever- right now we know he\’s from Everett.
QUESTION:But there was concern about, you know, retaliations, between gangs in that neighborhood. You know, we keep focusing on ‘don\’t rush to judgment\’, and you’re saying he\’s not related to gang violence
(Rev Williams): All were saying is that we\’re trying to get on the front side of it, to tell everybody to take a chill pill, take a step back, not read into it, and as a result, that’s why the three of us are standing here saying that we\’re in partnership so you don’t have an issue of someone speculating or guessing. So what we do know is evident, and what we don’t know is that which we\’re going to leave as the investigation pursues onward.
QUESTION: Mr. Norfleet was known for his efforts to bring about peace, to try and maintain the truce. What the status of the truce? Is it a frazzled truce, is it in jeopardy, what’s the assessment about things?
(Rev Dickerson): The status of the truce is that it still ongoing. We simply don\’t know the circumstances around the death of Jahmol Norfleet. So as a result of that, we are looking at this community and police-driven justice approach, as a way to bring answers, and to bring some resolution to this issue. We cannot revert to street rationale or street justice at this point. Our communities are too fragmented by violence in order for us to try perpetuate that with speculation. We need to have community justice to prevail over street justice at this point. That’s the message we’re trying to get through.
QUESTION:What was Mr. Brody’s status in between December 4th and this morning – had he been released by police? Had he been in custody at any point prior to his — ?
He was not in custody. He was released, due to the circumstances surrounding the … (unable to transcribe) However, evidence was developed to link him directly to the vehicle he was operating.