Menino defends 'torture' comments
BOSTON -- Mayor Thomas Menino voiced his outrage about a Hyde Park delivery man's murder at a recent Emerson College event, saying he wanted to slowly "torture" the suspects.
"Some say you shouldn't say it because you're the mayor. Well, I'm a human being also," said Mayor Menino on Thursday.
Menino said at the event last week that if he saw the suspects, who he called "hoodlums," in a dark alley, he would want to fight them and "torture" them slowly.
"Maybe it was too harsh about torture, but they tortured this gentleman also," said Mayor Menino.
The mayor is still frustrated over the death of pizza deliveryman, 58-year-old Richel Nova. Three friends are accused of luring Nova to an abandoned Hyde Park home, stabbing him to death, and then stealing his money.
Menino made the comments while speaking Emerson students about his rise in politics.
"As a mayor of this city, you need to guard what you say a little bit," said Tyler Cook.
"Divorcing yourself from your own feelings is impossible to do, but when you're making policy, that's different," said another man.
"Mayor Menino's always a very colorful gentleman, and what he said was inappropriate, probably from the heart," said a woman.
Menino regrets the attention his comments are getting, but he knows the victim's family, and how bad they are hurting.
"Maybe I shouldn't have said what I said but I feel very strongly about justice in this one because I see what damage they did, and they had no remorse about it at all," said Mayor Menino.
When Menino made those original comments last week, it was supposed to be off the record, but a student made an audio recording of the event.
"I think some people were a little surprised that an elected official would say something so politically incorrect," said Emerson College student Dan Adams.
Adams said that no one took Menino's comments seriously and that they came after questions about crime and the death penalty, which Menino said he did not support.
"We should be so lucky to have elected officials that feel they can speak their minds so freely. If someone you knew what brutally murdered and was stabbed to death, I'm sure you'd say a lot worse," said Adams.
Menino also said that the victim's two daughters used to work in City Hall, so it's an especially emotional case for him.
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