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A Full Review or a Whitewash?


By Harry Hurt

"This report is a whitewash." So said City Councillor Saundra Graham Tuesday as she and Hard Times, an East Cambridge neighborhood organization, sharply criticized the City's report on the arrest and jail cell death of East Cambridge youth Lawrence P. Largey.

In separate statements, Graham and Hard Times said that the report prepared by Boston University law professor Paul J. Liacos was neither far reaching enough in its conclusions, nor specific enough in its recommendations.

The report, which limited itself to the question of "police misconduct" in the arrest of Largey and Thomas F. Doyle, another East Cambridge youth, recommended that the City Manager "initiate disciplinary proceedings" against Patrolman Peter E. DeLuca, and that Police Chief James Reagan take "disciplinary action" against three other officers. However, the report did not specify what those actions should entail.

Hard Times also accused Liacos of omitting important evidence surrounding the incident, and censured him for failing to investigate the circumstances of Largey's autopsy and hurried embalming. Liacos had allegedly promised to do so at a November 3 community meeting.

Liacos denied making any promises about investigating Largey's autopsy or making more, specific recommendations. "The scope of the interest of myself and the scope of the interest of the people at Hard Times are not the same," Liscos said. "I'm not the least bit interested except that I've done my job."

DeLuca also objected to the Liacos report, saying that its release to the public on November 24 was prejudicial to the outcome of the official state inquest and to his disciplinary hearing which had been set for yesterday. DeLuca's attorney and the City Sullicher agreed to postpone yesterday's scheduled hearing untill December 11.

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