Watch CBS News

Trooper Michael Proctor's suspension for conduct in Karen Read investigation draws ire of police union

Officer Kevin Albert placed on leave after Trooper Proctor testimony in Read trial
Officer Kevin Albert placed on leave after Trooper Proctor testimony in Read trial 03:28

BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Police union called the decision to suspend Trooper Michael Proctor without pay for his conduct as lead investigator in the Karen Read case "disappointing."

Proctor was suspended on Monday following a duty hearing. The suspension became effective immediately following the hearing.

Karen Read and Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor. Associated Press photos by Charles Krupa and Greg Derr

Trooper Proctor's text messages about Karen Read

The veteran trooper was the lead investigator in Read's murder case. During his testimony, Proctor was forced to read what he called "regrettable" text messages he sent to friends, family and colleagues.

The messages came to light as part of the federal investigation into the handling of Read's case. 

In one message, Proctor said about Read "hopefully she kills herself." In another he referred to her as a "whackjob [expletive]."

Massachusetts State Police union responds to suspension

On Tuesday, State Police Association of Massachusetts president Brian Williams said the union "will never condone the unacceptable language used in personal text messages" sent by Proctor.

"To date, we have received no information to indicate that his suspension was the result of anything other than these text message exchanges," Williams' statement read. "We would like to reiterate that unless the department's ongoing investigation proves otherwise, yesterday's actions have no relationship to salacious allegations of cover-ups, collusion or conspiracies offered by the defense."

Read is accused of hitting and killing her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe, with her SUV in 2022. Her defense claims she is the victim of a coverup by several people, including law enforcement.

The monthslong trial, which gained national attention, ended with a mistrial due to a hung jury.

"Every member of the Massachusetts State Police hopes that the O'Keefe Family finds peace, comfort, and closure as they continue to mourn the loss of their loved one," Williams said in his statement. "Until the focus is shifted away from collateral issues and back to investigating and prosecuting the death of John O'Keefe, the justice his family deserves will be delayed."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.