New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell still believes it is okay for his police chief, Joseph Cordiero, to conceal violent criminal acts from the public. It is not okay; in fact, it is dead wrong. But Mitchell is a stubborn man who has a difficult time admitting when he is wrong.

Just weeks after attempting to cover up a shooting incident at the home of a New Bedford police officer, Chief Cordeiro is back at it. This time, he failed to notify the public of a shooting in broad daylight on busy Rockdale Avenue on February 22. The incident involved shots fired from a moving vehicle at another vehicle, which hit a third vehicle while attempting to get away from the shooter.

Don't worry, chief, the mayor has your back.

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I have viewed a video of the mid-afternoon shooting, which occurred near the intersection of Hawthorne Street. It must have been horrifying for folks caught in traffic. The operators of the vehicles involved in the shooting ran a red light in their effort to escape.

When I attempted to question Mitchell about the latest incident on my Wednesday program, he denied any knowledge of it. I accept that, but when I asked him if Cordeiro was wrong to conceal it from the public, he relied on the same old drumbeat.

“The police department has a policy that it doesn’t comment on pending investigations," he said.

Cordeiro even kept the news from Mitchell, if you are to believe what the mayor is saying.

No one is asking for comment on a pending investigation. We are insisting that the police chief inform the public when violent crimes such as this occur. Asked if he understood the difference, Mitchell replied, “I don’t see a need to change the policy of not commenting on pending investigations unless there is a compelling public interest.”

Someone firing live ammunition from a moving vehicle on Rockdale Avenue in broad daylight sounds pretty compelling to me, Mr. Mayor!

Mitchell is brighter than that. So why doesn't he get it? Oh yeah, he enjoys being condescending and patronizing, too.

Do you know what is almost as frightening as a police chief who hides information from the public? A mayor who admits he is out of the loop on such matters.

May I be so bold as to suggest that Mitchell could use a daily briefing before he leaves the house in the morning?

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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