Thursday, October 28, 2004

HAD O'TOOLE BEEN TRAINED? Yesterday's coverage of the investigation into Victoria Snelgrove's death left a significant unanswered question: had Deputy Superintendent Robert O'Toole been trained to use the "less lethal" pepper-pellet gun or not? According to the Globe, he hadn't been; according to the Herald, he is "among the city's most experienced weapons experts."

Today that question appears to have been resolved in favor of the Herald's account. Here is today's Globe:

Disputing an account in yesterday's Globe, [attorney] Timothy M. Burke said his client [O'Toole] was trained to use the weapon....

Police sources and a person involved in the investigation into Snelgrove's death have told the Globe that Robert O'Toole was not trained to use the weapon.

But Burke said his client was trained to use the gun and fired it "at least 10 times" when he attended a five-day civil disturbance seminar in Ithaca, N.Y., prior to the Democratic National Convention in July....

Asked if O'Toole's firing the weapon 10 times at a single instructional session constituted being trained, Burke said, "In conjunction with his use of all sorts of weapons, yes."

The Herald reports today on whether O'Toole may have abandoned his supervisory role by firing the gun himself.

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