BOSTON — In the Mattapan neighborhood where four people were killed two years ago, residents reacted with disbelief to jury verdicts letting both accused men avoid conviction. The jury found one man not guilty and could not agree on a murder verdict for the other.
Winston Jarvis’ reaction was typical among residents of the Mattapan neighborhood.
“I think one of the witnesses was part of the whole crime, and if he testified that these two guys were involved, I mean, come on, what’s happening these days with jurors?” Jarvis asked on Thursday afternoon.
Jarvis said he’s lived in the neighborhood for 10 years or so, and he said he’s stunned at the verdicts.
“That’s awful, then,” said Kim Devoe Edwards. “That’s awful.”
Edwards said both defendants should have been found guilty.
“I mean, for a crime that didn’t even have to be committed,” Edwards said.
The shootings shocked the city in late 2010, not least because one of the victims was a 2-year-old.
Felicita Cruz was holding her 3-month-old baby daughter in her arms. She said she’s not happy with the outcome of the trial.
“Ever since that happened, I don’t want my kids to play outside,” Cruz said. “And that happened just a couple of months shy after I moved here. If I’m not standing out here, they can’t play outside, and a bullet doesn’t have a name, and what happened to that baby was injustice, and the fact that they found someone not guilty, I want to get outta here.”
Cruz says she’s worried now that there may be retaliation.
Immediately after the verdicts Thursday, Boston police officers could be seen all over the neighborhood. The department said it was a precaution and to provide support to residents.