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Boston bombing film opens, director family looking for recognition

This undated official portrait released by the Boston Police department shows a policer officer Dennis Simmonds, who died on April 10, 2014.

(AP)

BOSTON – If the new Mark Wahlberg film “Patriots Day” about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, will premiere on Wednesday in Boston, the mayor and the others are recognition for a police-officer, who died a year after being wounded in a confrontation with the suspects.

Officer Dennis “D. J.” Simmonds was injured when a pipe bomb exploded near him days after the bombing. The explosive was thrown by the brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown on April 19, 2013, as they tried to escape. A year later, Simmonds, 28, suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage while working at the Boston Police Academy gym.

The state retirement board later awarded the Simmonds family a $150,000 line-of-duty benefits after a medical panel found that the aneurysm likely was related to the injuries that he suffered during the confrontation with the bombers.

Simmonds’ family, he believes, should be recognized as the fifth fatality, caused by the Tsarnaev brothers. Three people were killed when the Tsarnaevs detonated two pressure cooker bombs near the marathon finish line. A few days later, the brothers killed MIT officer Sean Collier hours before they engaged in a shootout with police in Watertown.

While the bombing victims and Collier are mentioned by name in “Patriots Day,” Simmonds it is not, something his father, Dennis R. Simmonds, calling an offensive “punch.”

“I think they should make some kind of statement, not only for D. J., but … the large number of officials on the ground that night, and answered,” he said.

In 2015, Simmonds’ name was added to a memorial to honor Massachusetts law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

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Boston police spokesman Lt. Det. Michael McCarthy said the department supports the family in their push to gain recognition for his sacrifice. He declined to comment on the film.

“We stand behind the family,” he said.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh urged movie executives at the one or other way acknowledge Simmonds.

“They could,” Walsh said to the Boston Herald. “I’m not sure it’s an error or whatever. … Hopefully they do the right thing.”

In a statement, a production spokesperson for the “Patriots Day,” according to the document of an event like the marathon bombings in a two-hour film “limited the number of individual stories you can tell.”

The on screen dedication said that the movie was dedicated “to all the people injured, the emergency responders and medical professionals, and all members of the law enforcement that have proven courage, compassion, and dedication during 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 against that judgment.

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