BOSTON – Citing their personal experiences and the importance of the Attorney General’s office in protecting public safety, police officers, law enforcement leaders, prosecutors, child safety advocates and numerous crime victims endorsed Martha Coakley for re-election as Attorney General.
Speaking at a press conference outside Faneuil Hall on Tuesday, Coakley was joined by District Attorneys Gerry Leone, Dan Conley and David Capeless, victims of crime and victim advocates, and representatives from law enforcement across Massachusetts. Speakers included Debbie Eappen, mother of eight-month old Matthew Eappen, for whom Coakley served as prosecutor in the case brought on her son’s behalf when he was killed more than 12 years ago.
“I’m proud to be a prosecutor…It means that we wake up every day and speak for those who need it most,” AG Coakley said. “But it’s been more than just standing up for them, I’ve also been inspired by them.”
“In October of 1997, Martha Coakley became one of our heroes,” said Debbie Eappen. “Martha brought hope to my devastated family... Our family is deeply grateful that Martha has chosen a 25-year career protecting the public from crime of all sorts. I know that my family - children, disabled, and elderly - are safer because of Martha Coakley’s service to the state of Massachusetts. It is with deep respect and admiration that we emphatically state that there is no better person for the job of Attorney General than Martha Coakley.”
Debbie is the mother of Matthew “Matty” Eappen, an eight-month old baby who in 1997 was the victim of abuse and killed by his nanny. Martha was part of the prosecution team in the case against Matty’s killer, and her experience on this case allowed her and Debbie to collaborate on educating medical professionals about the prevalence of child abuse and shaken impact syndrome.
Coakley also earned the support of a wide range of law enforcement groups and leaders, including district attorneys, police officers and advocates for child safety.
“There is only one candidate in this race with the experience to protect our young, protect our elderly, and to work in the cyber crime age,” said Rick Brown of the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM). “Martha Coakley is the only one who is going to be able to lead us in to the future in police work. She has 25 years of experience and I’m proud to be standing here offering SPAM’s endorsement to her to continue protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth – the victims, the witnesses, everybody that has been preyed upon through crime in the state of Massachusetts.
“Let’s remember why we elected Martha Coakley District Attorney and Attorney General in the first place,” Suffolk District Attorney Conley said. “It wasn’t only because she knew her way around a courtroom, but because she knew her way around our neighborhoods, where justice and injustice are felt much more acutely. It wasn’t only because she has a first-rate public policy mind, but because she listens to victims of crime and translates their hurt and frustrations into solutions that work and give us hope.”
“I urge the voters of Massachusetts to keep Martha Coakley doing the fine job she has for the past four years,” said Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless. “Martha has used the office of the Attorney General to protect the public’s rights and safeguard their resources, and has been and ally and a friend to her fellow prosecutors and partners in law enforcement. I commend the integrity that Martha brings to the office, I applaud her commitment to upholding our laws, and I am proud to join her in ensuring justice and safety for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
According to the Coakley campaign, as a federal prosecutor, an Assistant District Attorney, Middlesex District Attorney, and now as Attorney General, Coakley has an unmatched record in the AG race of protecting kids and communities. As a prosecutor for the Middlesex DA’s Office, she has personally and successfully prosecuted dozens of violent criminals in Massachusetts. As Chief of the Middlesex DA’s child abuse unit, she oversaw the prosecution of hundreds of predators who harmed children.
According to the Coakley campaign, she is the only candidate in the race for Attorney General who has prioritized victim support and public safety challenges such as cyber crime, senior safety, neighborhood safety and child protection.
Other achievements highlighted by the Coakley campaign include:
*The Cyber Crime Initiative, wherein Coakley's office trains local and state law enforcement officers in how to handle cyber crimes, with specialized trainings on topics such as digital evidence, cyber-bullying and others.
*Opening a state-of-the-art computer forensics laboratory that assists with criminal cases from across the state.
*In 2008, Coakley led a two-year effort with MySpace and Attorneys General across the country to develop a plan to make social networking sites safer for children. She also successfully took on Craigslist by calling on the site to take down its adult services section to better protect victims of human trafficking.
Public safety and victim advocates who have announced their support for Martha Coakley include:
Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless
Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter
Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett
Hampden County District Attorney Bill Bennett
Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley
Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early
The Massachusetts Police Association
The Massachusetts Coalition of Police
State Police Association of Massachusetts
State Police Superior Officers Association
Debbie Eappen, mother of murder victim Matthew Eappen
Dodie Laplante, mother of murder victim Betsie Hughes
Annette Presti, mother of murder victim Joanne Presti and grandmother of murder victim Alyssa Presti
Laurie Myers, child safety advocate