Bail procedures need overhaul to save police lives

It’s time for a top-to-bottom review of the state’s court system — especially bail procedures — before another cop gets killed due to judges going soft on thugs.

The latest example is alleged cop killer John Williams. On March 22, Williams was arrested by Massachusetts State Police in Haverhill on firearms and ammunition charges. Cops also report finding plastic bags with a white powder substance and a razor blade in his crashed vehicle on Interstate 495.

Bail was requested at $10,000, but set by the judge at $7,500, then lowered after a bail review in Salem Superior Court by Judge Timothy Q. Feeley, who reduced it to $5,000.

Police said Williams shot and killed a Somerset County sheriff’s deputy early yesterday, then stole the officer’s car and robbed a convenience store in the same Maine town.

This comes on the heels of Sgt. Sean Gannon’s slaying in Yarmouth two weeks ago, allegedly by a career criminal with 125 charges under his belt. That slaying has prompted lawmakers from the Cape and Islands to demand a State House hearing to identify “lapses in the criminal justice system.”

Sadly, there seem to be too many loopholes in our laws.

In 2016, Jorge Zambrano shot and killed Auburn police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. after a traffic stop.

The Herald reported, “Zambrano had a lengthy criminal record, serving two stretches in state prison for cocaine trafficking, possession and assault charges including attacking cops.” Yet in January of that year, despite having been charged with assault and battery on a police officer, he was freed without bail.

Add to it Zambrano violated probation, failed numerous drug screenings and skipped meetings with his probation officer. In May he was arrested again for driving an unregistered vehicle with false license plates and a suspended license, records show. Yet, despite all that, he was released on his own recognizance.

You read that right — he walked again.

Six days later, Zambrano shot and killed Tarentino, a married father of three.

And who can forget the grisly double murder of two prominent doctors in South Boston last year, allegedly by an immigrant with prior larceny convictions? Despite robbing banks, Bampumim “JJ” Teixeira was given soft sentencing and quickly back on the street.

Gov. Charlie Baker must join lawmakers in reforming our faulty justice system before another preventable murder takes place.

When is enough enough?

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is host of the “Adriana Cohen Show” heard Wednesdays at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.