BOSTON – The new movie, “Patriots Day,” featuring Mark Wahlberg premieres today in Boston. The storyline is about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Mayor Martin Walsh and others are pressing for recognition for a police officer that died a year after being wounded in a confrontation with the suspects, reported Fox News.
Officer Dennis “D.J.” Simmonds was injured when a pipe bomb exploded near him days after the bombing. Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev threw the explosive device in Watertown April 19, 2013, as they tried to escape.
LET wrote this April 13, 2014 In Memoriam to him:
Officer Simmonds was honored by the department for his actions following the Boston Marathon Bombing. Officer Simmonds was involved in the Watertown shooting immediately following the bombing and subsequent capture of the surviving suspect. One of the suspects had thrown an explosive device at him. He sustained a head injury due to the detonation of the device.
The Officer Down Memorial Page wrote this:
Police Officer Dennis Simmonds suffered a fatal brain aneurysm while working out at the Boston Police Academy gym … Officer Simmonds had suffered a head injury April 19th, 2013, when he was struck by shrapnel from an explosive devise that was detonated during a shootout with the Boston Marathon Bombers …”
Simmonds family was later awarded $150,000 line-of-duty death benefit by the state retirement board after a medical panel revealed the aneurysm was most likely related to the injuries he suffered during the confrontation with the bombers.
Three people were killed when the Tsarnaevs detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the marathon finish line. Several days later, the brothers shot and killed MIT Officer Sean Collier hours before they engaged in a shootout with police in Watertown.
Simmonds’ family believes he should be recognized as the fifth fatality caused by the Tsarnaev brothers. Based upon the findings of the medical panel, who could argue with them?
The bombing victims and Officer Collier are mentioned by name in “Patriots Day,” yet Simmonds is not. His father, Dennis R. Simmonds, calls it a hurtful “snub.”
“I think they should make some type of statement, not only for D.J., but for … the large number of officers that were on the ground that night and responded,” he said.
In 2015, Simmonds’ name was added to a memorial honoring Massachusetts law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Lt. Michael McCarthy, spokesman for the Boston Police Department, said they support the family in their push to get recognition for his sacrifice. He declined to comment on the movie. “We stand behind the family,” he said.
Mayor Martin Walsh believes the executives for the film should acknowledge Simmonds. “They could have put it in,” Walsh told the Boston Herald. “I’m not sure if it’s an oversight or what have you. … Hopefully, they do the right thing.”
A spokesperson for “Patriots Day” said in a statement that documenting an event such as the marathon bombing in a two-hour film “limits the number of individual stories you are able to tell.”
The on-screen dedication said the film was dedicated “to all those injured, to the first responders and medical professionals, and to all members of law enforcement who demonstrated courage, compassion and dedication throughout the tragic events of April 2013.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following the shootout with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a boat in Watertown and was sentenced to death last year. He is appealing that sentence.