In response to an investigation by the state Board of Probation and Parole into why a man accused of fatally shooting a police officer in August was allowed to walk free despite violating his probation prior to the murder, State Rep. Brendan Boyle on Sunday issued a statement calling for the board's findings to be made public.
Rafael Jones, 23, who allegedly shot and killed Officer Moses Walker Jr. after the veteran cop left work at North Philadelphia's 22nd District, was supposed to be wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he was released from jail 10 days before Walker's murder, but hadn't been issued one. On Friday, the Board of Probation and Parole fired three employees who'd been assigned to Jones' case.
Here's the full text of Boyle's statement:
A month ago, I chaired a House hearing that examined the events surrounding the tragic murder of Officer Moses Walker at the hands of a parolee, Rafael Jones. At that time, the parole board had no answers as to why the killer, Rafael Jones, was allowed to leave prison on parole without the required electronic monitoring bracelet. Further, they were unable to speak as to why Jones was allowed to remain free even after violating his parole mere days before murdering Officer Walker.
I am heartened that the parole board's internal investigation has at long last concluded and they have taken some action against those who apparently failed in this matter. However, it is hard to draw full conclusions without seeing the investigation's full findings.
As I said last month at my House hearing, the point of the hearing was two-fold: first, to find out what went wrong in the Rafael Jones case; and second, to reform the system so that future tragedies do not take place. If we are to achieve the latter, then I reiterate my call for the parole board to make their findings public so that we can work together to prevent future failures in the parole system.
I can think of no greater tribute to Officer Walker than to fix a broken parole system that cost him his life. Let's make this his lasting legacy.
Brendan F. Boyle, Member
Pennsylvania House of Representatives