Attorney General Maura Healey’s office confirmed to the newspaper this week that they are looking into a complaint filed with them against DA Rachael Rollins concerning an alleged road rage incident that happened at Dorchester’s South Bay Mall on Christmas Eve.
Boston Police also confirmed they are investigating the incident based on a Citizen Complaint filed with them recently, a process that was described as working like an Internal Affairs investigation.
The situation has taken a tremendously odd series of twists and turns before landing on the desk of AG Healey’s Office, and she and the BPD will likely have quite a job sorting out what in fact happened over the past two weeks.
The situation started on Christmas Eve when a Brockton woman, identified as Katie Lawson, and a passenger were in the South Bay Mall and had a traffic altercation with another vehicle. Shortly after, that vehicle confronted them about the altercation and Rollins is accused of allegedly turning on her police lights on the vehicle and threatening to give the woman a ticket. Lawson’s complaint indicates Rollins said not to “try me today.” Lawson also alleges that Rollins sped off and ran a red light.
Rollins has disputed the complaint and actually went on the Howie Carr Radio Show to debate the merits of the situation two weeks ago. There, she denied Lawson’s claims about how the incident happened, noting that she did turn on her police lights, but never said she would ticket them and also indicated Lawson was driving erratically. She said on the radio she was simply telling her to watch her driving and to be more careful.
However, the story took a very weird turn when Rollins Tweeted from her official account on Jan. 8 about a scary event that took place at her home that day, writing, “Earlier today a masked white man jumped out of a truck parked in front of my home, walked quickly to me while inaudibly speaking. He opened his trunk and grabbed something, took it out and aimed it at me. I was terrified and turned away. My children were there. I thought we…”
And it ended abruptly there. A similar, second Tweet coming 45 minutes later on the same day said about the same thing, but left out the “white man” reference.
Then, the next day, on Jan. 9, she Tweeted that the strange vehicle and white man were actually members of the media – turning out to be a Boston 25 reporter and cameraman.
Not long afterward, Boston 25 ran the video of that encounter in a report on the complaint against DA Rollins. In that report, Rollins is shown accompanied by her Police Detail launching into an expletive-filled tirade against the reporter for coming to her home. On camera, she threatened to arrest the reporter and told her that her career was finished.
Later, she released a statement concerning the on-camera events and said she had reacted as a mother and caregiver who was worried about her personal home being put on the news. She indicated the news vehicle and reporter should have confronted her at work and not at her home where her family lives.
“District Attorney Rollins ran for office, was elected, and has led with unprecedented transparency and access,” read the statement to Boston 25. “She has been and remains available to her constituents, colleagues, and members of the media and has never avoided a difficult conversation. Indeed, she had an on the record telephone conversation with (Boston 25) Friday night. She will continue to lead in this manner, fully understanding and expecting the scrutiny that comes with being an elected public official. But this past Friday was something different. Some 48 hours after our country witnessed an attack on those very same elected officials, an unknown vehicle with an unknown man approached her in front of her home where she is the mother and guardian to three young girls. And she responded not as an elected official, but as a mother, an aunt, and a caregiver who believes her primary responsibility is to love and protect her family. District Attorney Rollins has long been an advocate for the protection of the privacy and safety of the families of government officials. She deserves the same.”
The matter is under investigation and both AG Healey’s Office and the BPD declined to provide copies of the written complaints presented to them.