Globe gang coverage: unintended consequences?

The title of the story the Globe's Suzanne Smalley wrote about a truce between Boston's Heath Street and H-Block gangs earlier this month--"2 gangs find real peace, in secret"--raised an obvious question: would the aforementioned peace be jeopardized by being made public?

Now, following yesterday's killing of an H-Block leader in Roxbury, it's worth asking again.

To be clear, Smalley wrote that the truce might not last past Labor Day. And as today's coverage of Jamhol Norfleet's murder notes, Norfleet was killed exactly one year after the murder of Heath Street's Carl Searcy. That said, the original Globe story may well have made it more difficult to keep the truce alive through the fall.

Take another look at this no-comment from then-acting police comissioner Albert Goslin, which accompanied Smalley's story and was delivered via spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll: "Commissioner Goslin believes that it is premature to engage in public discussion about this ambitious initiative. Disclosing details is potentially detrimental to the mission, which is decreasing gun violence on the streets of Boston."

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