Tens of thousands sign petition to 'overhaul' criminal justice s - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Tens of thousands sign petition to 'overhaul' criminal justice system after officer's death

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By Alana Cerrone



ACUSHNET, Mass. (WLNE) -  More than 23,000 people have signed the petition that Lori Howard-Wagner started the day after Yarmouth K9 Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed.

"I think it's the right thing to do, and it's something that needs to be done."

She had met him a couple times on the job as a paramedic on the Cape. The sadness she felt hearing of his death now coupled with anger.

"When I heard how many prior convictions this person had - number 125 - I thought, ‘How was he out on the street?’ It made me so angry."

The suspected killer is being referred to by police only as ‘Number 125’ standing for the number of prior criminal charges he's faced.

Howard-Wagner says that's why she started the petition.

"There is a breakdown in the judicial system. This should never have happened. And we have to do something to prevent it from happening again."

During a candlelight vigil Saturday, Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson pleaded for change. Yarmouth Police have taken notice of Howard-Wagner's petition and shared it on their Facebook page. The deputy chief added, "Sean and Nero's blood is on the hands of 125 AND the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System. Sean's gift will be the protection of police officers and community members from evil career criminals like 125."

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