Today, Monday, April 2, 2018, on their second day of deliberation, a jury found Boston Police Officer Michael Doherty guilty on two counts of Assault and Battery, one count of Intimidation of a Witness, and one count of Use of a Motor Vehicle without Authority. Doherty was found not guilty on one charge of a civil rights violation against a second person who attempted to intervene in the incident. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in South Boston on January 4, 2015 during which Doherty, while off-duty, physically assaulted an Uber driver in South Boston before taking the driver’s car and fleeing the scene. Doherty has been (and remains) suspended without pay since his indictment on these charges on Thursday, April 2, 2015.
The Boston Police Anti-Corruption Division worked closely with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. Said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, “Today’s decision sends a strong and definitive message that police officers are not above the law and must answer for their actions should they choose to behave in a way that places the public in danger, whether they are on duty or off. As I have said before, I hold my officers to a very high standard, and I believe any actions that undermine the public’s trust should have appropriate consequences. I’d once again like to thank the members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the BPD Anti-Corruption Unit for their hard work on this case, as well as the members of the jury for their time and deliberation during this trial.”
The facts and circumstances of the case are as follows:
At about 2:45 AM on Sunday, January 4, 2015, officers from District C-6 (South Boston) responded to a call for a ride share driver stating that he had been assaulted by a passenger in the area of E. 1st Street and Farragut Road in South Boston. On arrival, officers spoke to the victim, an Uber driver, who stated that he was in the process of dropping a passenger off in the area of E. 2nd Street in South Boston when the passenger began yelling at him and accusing him of trying to drop him off at the wrong location. Victim further stated that the suspect physically assaulted him when he stopped his vehicle in the area of E. 2nd and M Streets. In an effort to escape the suspect, the victim stated that he exited his vehicle. Once outside the vehicle, the victim stated that he watched as the suspect got into the front seat of his car and drove off. The victim, who was aided by a passing motorist, followed the victim to E. 1st Street and Farragut Road where the suspect stopped and exited the victim’s car. The suspect fled the area before police arrived. The suspect was later identified, located, and placed under arrest by Boston Police Anti-Corruption Unit.