The Battle of Unequitable Liberty in Massachusetts



By: Duncan Burns – May, 2018

As readers know by now, Yarmouth K-9 Police Officer Sean Gannon was murdered by a career criminal. A criminal, whose very nature was filled with a violent history of trying to infringe or the actual taking of other people’s liberties. The man responsible, whose name is being intentionally withheld, was the result of not just a criminal justice system gone awry, but a political ideology years in the making in Massachusetts.

In an effort to give those convicted of crimes a fresh start, which is a noble cause, it has also led to those who refuse to assimilate into a peaceful society to remain free. In order for society to remain peaceful and free, the rule of law must be meted out equally, this clearly does not happen in Massachusetts. As history has shown here in Massachusetts, “justice” is delivered on a case-by-case basis, based on who you are, and too many times it has resulted in tragic consequences, including the current murder of Officer Gannon.

This is not a call to a police state, nor is it a call for the death penalty for the murder of police officers. This would once again create inequality and a type of caste system within our state, which once again, depending on who you are, has already happened. No, this is a call to fight back against such one-way ideology and rule in this state, especially by those who were recently impacted the most: Police Officers. As well as those who believe and support in an equal rule of law.

There is one thing that most politicians in Massachusetts love more than being re-elected: Money. Whether it’s to buy votes, throw campaign booze filled parties, or simply to silence others, money controls everything. Many State Legislators also hold very lucrative jobs outside of their Statehouse part-time employ, who of course in-turn get legislation passed to benefit their businesses or themselves, like their recent ballot measure proofed pay raises.

What can The People do when their vote is silenced, thanks in part to massive gerrymandering? Close your wallets to both the politicians and their businesses. The State Police Association of Mass. Pol Action Committee gave Beacon Hill politicians $19,500 in 2017, while individual State Troopers donated $12,2900 to Massachusetts pols. The real money though came from lobbying. The State Police Association (SPA) paid $146,250 and State Police Commissioned Officers Association of Massachusetts, Inc. paid $13,200 in 2017. Those monies paid to lobbyists, run by former pols and insiders, filter up back towards Beacon Hill.

If you want irony, The New England Police Benevolent Association PAC donated $46,633.51 to Beacon Hill pols, through their lobbying efforts, they paid $44,500 in 2017. This is an organization that supports fallen police officers and their families, sending tens-of-thousands of dollars to politicians who clearly do not have their best interests at heart. Politicians like Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey may say they’re sending “thoughts & prayers”, but their political ideology and enforcement of the rule of law say otherwise as seen in this case. This ideology got one of their own killed.

If The People are tired of one-way political ideology in Massachusetts, in an environment where your vote is rigged by a legal political process (gerrymandering), then the only peaceful force we can use is with our wallets. Officer Gannon might be alive today were it not for the money sent to fuel and fill the political coffers that promote this ideology, imbalance, and inequity in this state. Liberty cannot be for some, it has to be for all of us, including police officers. If our State Legislature, Governor, and Attorney General are going to continue to promote such unequal and anti-liberty ideology, in light of a recent weakening of our criminal justice laws, we have recourse – The question is whether The People, and all of our public safety members, will band together and use it.

Duncan Burns is a former police officer and corporate paralegal with nearly two decades of corporate forensic experience. Past experience includes a Boston based firm featured in The Panama Papers, specializing in off-shore tax havens, estate planning, and corporate affairs. Duncan now works in administrating customer relationship management, web marketing & promotion for a local start-up real estate company. He is originally from The North Shore, but now calls The Merrimack Valley his home.