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Boston man pleads guilty to assaulting officers during June riot

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 1/26/2021
a close up of a man in a car looking at the camera: John Boampong, 37, of Dorchester © Provided by WCVB Boston John Boampong, 37, of Dorchester

A man who was accused of firing 11 shots during the unrest that followed a large protest in Boston last summer has agreed to plead guilty to assaulting officers with a firearm, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts announced.

John Boampong, 37, of Dorchester, has been detained since his arrest on June 1 after the early morning shooting.

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U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's office announced Monday that Boampong will plead guilty to interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder, receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment for a felony offense, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees.

“We’ve seen protests time and again over the past year. While protesting is a constitutionally protected right, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the public is a crime,” Lelling said in a statement. “Whether that takes place in the streets of Boston or our nation’s capital, you can be assured that federal law enforcement will investigate those who engage in violence and destruction and hold them to account.”

“John Boampong incited panic downtown after he fired 11 rounds in the direction of police officers and civilians, with a firearm he was not allowed to carry. His appalling actions put everyone—including officers who were there to ensure public safety—in danger,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This case should serve as a reminder that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will bring all of our investigative resources to bear on those who choose to instigate violence under the guise of peaceful protests.”

The U.S. Attorney's Office said around 3 a.m. on Monday, June 1, Boampong was driving his car near the Arlington Street and Boylston Street intersection in front of a store that had been victimized by looting that evening.

Prosecutors said police officers ordered Boampong and his passengers to leave the area.

Authorities said the people inside Boampong’s car initially became verbally combative towards the officers and failed to leave the area as instructed. When Boampong reversed the car, officers told him to stop, as officers and another vehicle were in the way. Boampong kept driving in reverse until one officer knocked with his baton on Boampong’s car to get his attention.

Federal prosecutors said Boampong then drove away, but soon returned to the area, parked on Providence Street, and allegedly shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer.

Prosecutors said the officers took cover by bracing or ducking behind cars and other objects. Bullets broke through the windows of two apartments above ground level in a building behind some of the officers.

According to federal prosecutors, officers saw a 9mm firearm lying on the floor of the front passenger-side floor mat, and a black holster underneath the driver’s seat, where Boampong had been sitting. The firearm was recovered, examined and revealed to have Boampong’s fingerprint on it.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Boampong faces a sentence of 42 to 63 months and three years of supervised release.

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