First, Boston Police mis-ID’d the wrong suspects.
Then, when they found the correct suspects, they engaged the two of them in a shootout and one escaped into the night, without a trace.
A hysterical Mayor Menino (or was it Governor Patrick?) responded by ordering the entire Boston Metro area to cower in place, costing untold hundred of millions of dollars in lost wages and time.
All because of the fear of one hunted young man.
A full day of ineffective searching and chasing false alarms back and forth across town left thousands of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers back at “square one.” It was a homeowner that discovered signs of the suspect in her yard, a yard that had already been “cleared” in the botched police sweep operation. Without her recognition that something was amiss, it is likely the search would have dragged through another night and into another day.
Finally after a barrage of gunfire and untold number of flash-bangs and 20 hours of a city frozen by fear, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev finally chose to surrender on his own terms.
I’m glad that this Keystone Kops performance is finally over without more innocent lives being lost, but it is readily apparent that it ended more due to luck than skill.
After taking some time to rest and reset, we need to evaluate what failed, and why.