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Governor "disgusted" by Massachusetts State Police Trooper Proctor's texts in Karen Read case

Trooper Proctor grilled over texts in Karen Read murder trial
Trooper Proctor grilled over texts in Karen Read murder trial 02:51

BOSTON - Gov. Maura Healey weighed in on the Karen Read trial Thursday, saying she's "disgusted" by text messages Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor sent while acting as the lead investigator in the murder case.

Proctor in court this week read a series of what he described as "regrettable" messages he sent to friends, family and State Police coworkers about Read. In the texts, he used multiple expletives to describe Read, called her a "whackjob," joked about her medical condition and at one point seemed to suggest he was searching her phone for nude photos.

"It's terrible," Healey said in response to a reporter's question about the messages. "I mean anybody looks at that ... it's completely unprofessional."

Healey says Proctor texts harm integrity of police

The governor also acknowledged the potential damage that Proctor's texts could have on police work in Massachusetts.

"It does harm, frankly, to the dignity and the integrity of the work of men and women across the State Police and law enforcement," Healey said. "So as a former attorney general and as governor, I am disgusted by that."

Healey did not answer any other questions about the case, saying that it wouldn't be appropriate for her to comment further on a criminal investigation and trial.

Her comments come one day after Proctor was grilled over a text message sent to his sister about Read, saying "Hopefully she kills herself."

Proctor also testified his "juvenile" texts "have zero impact on the facts and the evidence and the integrity of this investigation," though some jurors were seen shaking their hands or gasping subtly as they were read.

Proctor under investigation with Massachusetts State Police

The Massachusetts State Police confirmed this week that Proctor is still employed but he is under an open investigation. The State Police union is not commenting on Proctor until the trial is over. 

Emily D. Baker, a former district attorney in California who has been analyzing the case daily, talked to WBZ-TV about how Proctor's testimony could impact public perception of police.

"This goes beyond just darker humor," Baker said. "This goes into really a disdain for the person that he is supposed to be objectively investigating, and it really leans into people's fears that the people policing us really don't see us as equal citizens to them."  

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