Re: “Attorney general says he’ll review 2007 police shooting in Waldoboro” (June 12):

I read with interest the article you published about the state attorney general (Aaron Frey) and the county prosecutor (Natasha Irving) addressing an injustice. I am pleased they chose this proper course. But let me correct an important factual error.

The author of the story (Stephen Betts of The Courier-Gazette) wrote: “If a criminal charge is filed, it would be the first time in Maine a police officer has been charged for an on-duty shooting.” While extremely uncommon, there have been two cases I know of.

Joe Brennan was Cumberland County district attorney against Portland cop Louis Lemmings in a non-fatal shooting during a 1972 arrest in Bayside. Brennan won and Lemmings went to jail.

Peter Mills Sr. was the U.S. attorney for Maine and brought charges against Officer Robert Schwartz in the killing of Eddie Pizzo in South Portland in 1971. The not guilty verdict only said they messed up in the hospital, trying to fix a bullet hole in Pizzo’s neck.

Common to this are two exceptional men: Joe Brennan and Peter Mills Sr. One a Democrat. One a Republican. Knowing the reaction they might face, they acted on principle. Justice required that. I am proud to have known them both.

My hat is off to Natasha Irving (district attorney for Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Waldo counties). This takes a great deal of courage and principle. She is in exceptional company.

Stephen R. Aucoin


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