Cops Who Shot and Killed Unarmed Veteran Were Awarded Medals For ‘Courage’

Three police officers were given awards by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for their involvement in the fatal shooting of a military veteran.

Officers John Bernard, Joshua Hilton, and Paul Scali were awarded the prestigious Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery, commending them for their roles in the shooting death of Denis Reynoso.

Reynoso was a veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of his job diffusing roadside bombs in Iraq for the United States Military.

After returning stateside, Reynoso was gunned down by Officer Hilton in his apartment while his five-year-old son watched.

A total of 25 police officers received the award last Wednesday, but among them were all three officers involved in the Reynoso shooting.

Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger wrote that the officers “were courageous in dealing with the life-threatening situation that was suddenly thrust upon them” and “were humane in immediately rendering medical aid to the injured party,” in his nomination letter.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, ruled in a four-and-a-half page report that the shooting was justified. Family members had petitioned the police department to investigate the shooting, but instead, it was only looked at by the district attorney’s office.

Jessica Spinney, Reynoso’s fiancée, told DigBoston that when she heard about the awards the officers received, she was in shock.

“I woke up and I had a message from a mutual friend, and she was like, ‘I can’t believe this.’ I kind of left it like that, and while I usually look at the Item first-thing, I didn’t that day, and then around 12 o’clock I had a message from my sister-in-law, and she told me.

“It’s not like I’m going to go crazy, but it really feels like it’s rekindling everything, and right before the holidays. My phone has been going off like it was on the day he passed away.
“The governor must have done this without knowing the facts. There has to be another instance in Lynn that could have gotten rewarded. Maybe they saved someone from overdosing.

“I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t know what the heck is going on, and it’s my life. I know they’re just trying to cover their asses, but to do something like that is just disgusting.

“I can’t believe he’s being rewarded when he killed an innocent man in front of his five-year-old son.”