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Trooper Michael Proctor, lead investigator in Karen Read case, suspended without pay


Trooper Michael Proctor, lead investigator in Karen Read case, suspended without pay

FRAMINGHAM – Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case against Karen Read, was suspended without pay following a duty hearing on Monday. 

Proctor’s duty status hearing was held virtually on Monday at Massachusetts State Police headquarters in Framingham.

The veteran trooper was relieved of duty just hours after Read’s trial ended last week with a hung jury. He was transferred out of the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office detective unit and into a field services division in South Boston.

Trooper Michael Proctor suspended

Massachusetts State Police Col. John Mawn accepted the board’s recommended suspension for Proctor on Monday, making it effective immediately. The length of the suspension was not immediately known.

Proctor remains ineligible to perform tasks of a state trooper.

An internal affairs investigation into Proctor’s conduct is ongoing. That investigation ends with a report that will rule each allegation unfounded, exonerated, not sustained, or sustained.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor takes the stand to testify, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Norfolk Super Court, in Dedham, Mass., during the trial for Karen Read. 

Kayla Bartkowski/The Boston Globe via AP

Michael Proctor’s text messages about Karen Read

While on the witness stand during the trial, Proctor admitted to sending inappropriate and offensive text messages about Read to family and friends.

In one message, Proctor referred to Read as a “whackjob [expletive]” and in another he said “hopefully she kills herself.”

Proctor has been with state police for about 10 years.

Protest outside State Police barracks

Outside the State Police barracks where Proctor was transferred, a group of Read’s supporters protested, hours after Proctor was suspended Monday.

“It’s not enough, he needs to be fired,” said Eileen Keough. “His behavior is disgraceful; he does not protect and serve.”

“I don’t think he should have a job at all,” said Kurt Maxon. “I think he should have been let go, his behavior is disgusting, it’s disgraceful to the badge, it’s disgraceful to women.” 

What will happen to Michael Proctor?

Proctor could not be fired during Monday’s hearing. He could eventually lose his job, but the duty status hearing was one of the first steps in that process.

Instead, the hearing could have concluded with one of four outcomes.

  • He could have gotten his job back.
  • He could have been suspended with pay.
  • He could have been suspended without pay.
  • He could have received restricted duties.

Massachusetts State Police response

Last week, Mawn spoke about Proctor’s conduct, but said the department is limited to how it can discipline him by its collective bargaining agreement with the union.

“I think I’ve been very clear and I want to remain very clear. Misconduct in any way, shape or form by the Massachusetts State Police will not be tolerated,” Mawn said. “I think I’ve said that I condemn [Proctor’s] comments in the strongest terms possible. They are not reflective of the Massachusetts State Police. That’s not where we want to be as an organization. I believe we will certainly continue to monitor that as we are moving through the process of our internal affairs investigation.”

What Karen Read’s attorney said about Michael Proctor

Alan Jackson, one of Read’s lead attorneys, issued a statement after Proctor was relieved of duty.

“Conduct has consequences. DA Morrissey backed this misogynist, corrupt cop. And two hours after he announced he will pursue a second trial against an innocent woman, Karen Read, the MSP announced that Michael Proctor-the lead investigator for the Commonwealth-has been relieved of duty because of ‘serious misconduct that emerged in testimony at the trial,'” Jackson said. “We look forward to another opportunity to reveal the truth about this unjust prosecution. Good luck.”  

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