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Canton Police Officer Kevin Albert put on leave after Michael Proctor testimony in Karen Read trial

Canton police officer put on leave in wake of Trooper Proctor testimony in Read trial
Canton police officer put on leave in wake of Trooper Proctor testimony in Read trial 02:25

CANTON - A Canton police officer with ties to the Karen Read investigation is now on leave. Officer Kevin Albert is the brother of the owner of the home where John O'Keefe was found dead in January 2022.

Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty said Albert was put on leave last month related to the testimony of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the Read case. 

But the news didn't become public until the surprise announcement was made at a Canton Select Board meeting Tuesday night, attended by Karen Read supporters.

Kevin Albert on paid administrative leave  

"Chief Rafferty has placed Kevin Albert on paid administrative leave," said Michael Loughran, chair of the Select Board. 

Canton Select Board members said Kevin Albert, a Canton police officer, and brother of Brian Albert, is now on paid administrative leave because of his actions on a case he investigated with Trooper Michael Proctor two years ago, but they didn't specify which case.

Canton Police Officer Kevin Albert in a June 2013 photo from the Canton Police Facebook page. Canton Police via Facebook

"Kevin Albert was placed on leave June 13th and will remain on leave until the results of the investigation are provided by the outside independent investigator," Loughran said.

Kevin Albert texts with Michael Proctor

Albert was placed on leave the day after Trooper Proctor testified in the Read trial. During that testimony, defense attorney Alan Jackson questioned Proctor about a text exchange the trooper had with Kevin Albert on January 30, 2022, the day after Boston police officer John O'Keefe was found dead in Brian Albert's yard.

Proctor testified on June 12 that Kevin Albert texted him the next day to discuss the investigation. Proctor admitted that he did not tell Albert that it was inappropriate for them to be talking about the case because of Albert's family connection to it.

Also according to Proctor, he and Kevin Albert went out drinking one night in July 2022. After that night out, Kevin Albert left his badge in Proctor's cruiser.

"Found your badge in my cruiser this morning," Proctor said in a text message the following morning, prompting Albert to respond "Did I take my gun?"

Read is accused of hitting and killing O'Keefe with her SUV during a snowstorm on January 29, 2022. Read and O'Keefe were dating at the time. Her attorneys claim she is the victim of a coverup by several people, including law enforcement. Read's murder trial ended last week in a mistrial after a "starkly divided" hung jury failed to reach a verdict.

Proctor has been suspended without pay after sending offensive texts about Read to his colleagues, family, and friends during the investigation.

Brian Albert was called to the stand in the Read trial and testified that O'Keefe never entered his home that night.

Kevin Albert never testified in the trial.

Chris Albert apology   

Later in the meeting, Select Board member Chris Albert, Kevin and Brian's brother, issued a public apology.

Chris Albert was also a witness in the Read trial, and has had recent arguments with people in public about the case.

"Despite the tremendous harassment, stress, and anxiety that my family, extended family and I have been subjected to over the past 16 months, my interactions were inappropriate and as an elected official I am held to a higher standard," Chris Albert said.

Christopher Albert testifies during Karen Read's trial, Thursday, May 9, 2024, at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham Mass. Read, 44, is accused of running into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV in the middle of a nor'easter and leaving him for dead after a night of heavy drinking.  David McGlynn/New York Post via AP, Pool

Proctor's suspension was top of mind for Read's supporters at the meeting Tuesday night. The State Police union called the decision to suspend Proctor without pay "disappointing."

"He deserves to be terminated. And we need to rid our policing systems of all Michael Proctors," said Read supporter Rita Lombardi.

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