Karen Read Trial Begins in Dedham with Street Closure and Buffer Zone


Source: @DedhamPD via X (posted April 15, 2024). A protest area has been designated for the Commonwealth v. Karen Read trial, in a parking lot near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Providence Highway.

The murder trial of Karen Read begins in Dedham at Norfolk Superior Court at 650 High Street on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, and related to the presiding judge's establishment of a buffer zone around the courthouse, Dedham Police have announced a plan for safety and security.

Norfolk Street in Dedham will be closed between Court and Pearl streets during trial activity. Additionally, a buffer zone is established 200 feet around the courthouse complex. The buffer zone will be marked by orange barrels and signage.

The judge in the case has ordered that buttons, photographs, clothing or insignia related to the case will not be allowed in the courthouse. Law enforcement officers who are testifying or in the courtroom audience are not permitted to wear their uniforms. Additionally, no signs, placards or demonstrations will be allowed within 200 feet of the courthouse complex.

The judge cited past instances of witness intimidation, protestors shouting at witnesses and confronting family members of the victim, and the display of materials which may or may not be used as evidence in the trial. 

To protect the defendant's right to a fair trial, the court found that it "must reduce the risk of exposing witnesses or jurors in this case to such outside influences." The court ordered that the buffer zone be observed.

Outside the buffer zone, Dedham Police have described an area that is provided for peaceful demonstration, in the portion of the Keystone parking lot that is closest to the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Providence Highway.

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