Karen Read

State police union says suspension of Proctor without pay is ‘disappointing'

The Massachusetts State Police suspended Trooper Michael Proctor without pay amid an internal investigation following his testimony in the murder trial against Karen Read — a decision criticized Tuesday by the State Police Association of Massachusetts

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The union that represents members of the Massachusetts State Police defended Trooper Michael Proctor a day after his suspension without pay.

Proctor, the lead investigator in the Karen Read case, was roundly criticized after his testimony at her murder trial. The high-profile proceedings brought to light a series of text messages he sent about Read as he investigated the 2022 death of her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe, in Canton.



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The trooper was the subject of an internal investigation before the start of the trial against Read, accused of hitting O'Keefe with her SUV and leaving him to die in the snow.

State police determined at a duty status hearing Monday that Proctor would be off the job without pay during the investigation.

"The decision to suspend him without pay pending the outcome of the investigation is disappointing because it shifts Trooper Proctor's punishment to his young family," Brian Williams, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said in a statement. "His children will lose access to benefits such as health insurance. To mitigate the impact on them, a more reasonable action would have been a suspension that did not affect their medical coverage."

Williams said as the internal investigation continues, the police association has not received any new information that Proctor's punishment was for anything other than those texts.

Proctor admitted during his testimony during the nine-week trial that he sent texts that were "unprofessional and regrettable," but claimed they had no bearing on the integrity of his investigation.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor refused to answer questions from the NBC10 Boston Investigators after the murder trial against Karen Read ended with a hung jury.

The texts — sent to fellow members of the state police, including superiors, as well as friends and family — featured derogatory remarks about Read, calling her a "whack job c***." They made disparaging remarks about her medical conditions. He said after searching her phone, he had found "no nudes so far."

When a friend suggested the owner of the home outside of which O'Keefe was found could "receive some s***," Proctor replied, "Nope, homeowner is a Boston cop, too."

The homeowner is Brian Albert, a fellow Boston police officer. The state police took over the investigation because Albert's brother, Kevin, is with the Canton Police Department.

Proctor testified that he and Kevin Albert went out drinking about five months into the Read investigation on July 19, 2022.

After a night of drinking, Kevin Albert left his badge in Proctor's cruiser and reportedly couldn't find his gun.

"Found your badge in my cruiser this morning," Proctor texted Albert the next morning.

Albert told him to leave it in his mailbox, and then said, "Did I take my gun?" and included a wincing face emoji.

The Canton Police Department placed Kevin Albert, brother of Brian Albert, on paid administrative leave following testimony from Michael Proctor in the Karen Read trial.

At a Canton Select Board meeting Tuesday, Chair Michael Loughran said Kevin Albert had been placed on paid administrative leave June 13, the day after Proctor's testimony about him.

Proctor's sister, Courtney — with whom he testified he is close — is the best friend of Julie Albert, who is married to Brian's other brother, Chris Albert. The couple was present at a bar with Brian Albert, Read, O'Keefe and others hours before O'Keefe's body was found in the snow.

In one text to Courtney Proctor, the trooper said of Read, "Hopefully she kills herself."

Read's defense claimed she was framed in a coverup, questioning the actions of Proctor, members of the Albert family and others. Last week, a mistrial was declared due to a hung jury.

"Regarding the outcome of yesterday's duty status hearing for Trooper Proctor: The State Police Association of Massachusetts will never condone the unacceptable language used in personal text messages presented as evidence during the trial," Williams said. "To date, we have received no information to indicate that his suspension was the result of anything other than these text message exchanges. 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."

"We certainly support the actions that Col. [John] Mawn has taken, the internal investigation will continue, but I think the appropriate actions have been taken to date," Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said Tuesday.

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