This will be short as I am in the middle of the last week of classes and writing assessment. Have to finish a ton of grading before tomorrow.
All the police records have been located in the Amy Bishop case.
First, JUDY BISHOP WAS NOT ON THE POLICE PERSONNEL BOARD. Can we get that straight once and for all? She went to Town Meeting. I guess that makes her "powerful," but when I think of the numbskulls in my town who are active at Town Meeting, I'm not all that impressed.
Second, NO ONE COVERED UP WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS A MURDER.
If there was a cover-up, then it was not covering-up a murder. It was covering up/glossing over the charges on which Bishop could have faced.
Every single piece of evidence we have suggests it was an accidental shooting, including pretty much every police report that exists, which are labelled "Accidental Shooting." This does not mean she could not have been charged for other things, pointing the gun at the guys in the auto repair shop. But to quote from Solimini's report, Bishop was "frighten [sic], disoriented and confused." Solimini also says she had a fight with her father, not her brother.
It therefore makes absolutely no sense to say that Amy had a fight with her brother and shot him deliberately.
What was covered up? This looks like the likeliest scenario:
Amy shot her brother by mistake. She freaked out. She was picked up by police. She was brought to the station. She could have been charged. Because she was a rich white girl who was obviously traumatized, and because her parents were well-known, they let her go home.
That is basically about the whole of it.
We have GOT to look at this incident from the perspective of the people facing it in 1986. They did not know that in 2010 she would murder three people. She looked and acted like a kid who had made a horrible mistake.
My third point is that WE STILL HAVE NO EVIDENCE OF A THIRD SHOT. What we know is that Amy accidentally discharged the gun in her room then freaked out, tried to hide it, couldn't, then came downstairs and tried to get her brother's help, then accidentally (negligently, some gun owners insist on calling it) discharged it again. Why that seems like an illogical sequence to anyone is beyond me. It makes perfect sense.
I have a fascination with Columbine and with research/journalism, so this reminds me very much of the assumption-making and myth-creating that happened shortly after the Columbine shooting. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be part of that. If I end up writing a lot and challenging others' assumptions, it's mainly because I think the truth deserves that. We need to question assumptions and claims, particularly before all the information is in. This is a version of what Tim Burke was warning about in the thread on 11D, but I see the process a little bit differently. I think that the more we talk about all the possible explanations, the less likely we are to settle on one possibly wrong one.
I think Paul Frazier acted incredibly irresponsibly in giving that first press conference. Were I a resident of Braintree, I would be leading the call to question his judgment.
Part 4 will be about race and gender, but I am not allowed to write that till I finish my grading.
Edited to link to 11D thread.