State Police Association comments on 'disappointing' decision to suspend Trooper Proctor without pay

BOSTON — After a Massachusetts State Police Board recommended on Monday to suspend disgraced Trooper Michael Proctor without pay, the president of the union expressed concern with the decision.

“The decision to suspend him without pay pending the outcome of the investigation is disappointing because it shifts Trooper Proctor’s punishment to his young family,” said President of the State Police Association of Massachusetts Brian Williams. “His children will lose access to benefits such as health insurance. To mitigate the impact on them, a more reasonable action would have been a suspension that did not affect their medical coverage.”

Proctor was the lead investigator in the Karen Read murder case and came under fire for a series of “unprofessional” texts sent in a private group message about Read that was sent to friends, family, and supervisors. Those texts were read aloud in court during the trial.

In a duty status hearing on Monday that garnered attention from Read supporters, Interim Massachusetts State Police Col. John Mawn elected to suspend Proctor immediately.

Williams says although he does not condone Proctor’s actions regarding the text messages he is adamant there is no cover-up in the murder case.

“Regarding the outcome of yesterday’s duty status hearing for Trooper Proctor: The State Police Association of Massachusetts will never condone the unacceptable language used in personal text messages presented as evidence during the trial,” he said. “To date, we have received no information to indicate that his suspension was the result of anything other than these text message exchanges. We would like to reiterate that unless the Department’s ongoing investigation proves otherwise, yesterday’s actions have no relationship to salacious allegations of cover-ups, collusion or conspiracies offered by the defense.”

Read is accused of killing her Boston Police Officer boyfriend John O’Keefe by striking him with her SUV and leaving him in a snowstorm in Canton in January 2022.

Prosecutors said Read and O’Keefe had been drinking heavily before she dropped him off at a party at the home of Brian Albert, a fellow officer. They said she hit him with her SUV before driving away.

The defense sought to portray Read as the victim, saying O’Keefe was actually killed inside Albert’s home and then dragged outside and left for dead.

“Every member of the Massachusetts State Police hopes that the O’Keefe Family finds peace, comfort, and closure as they continue to mourn the loss of their loved one,” Williams said. “As these matters continue to evolve, we thank our members who serve dutifully and with distinction. We are proud of the meaningful work they do each day. We also take the duty to fairly and equally represent them very seriously. Because of our obligations to the membership and due to the Department’s ongoing investigation, we will be making no additional comment regarding yesterday’s hearing.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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