New documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court detail an effort by a police union official to keep officers involved in the death of Terrence Coleman from talking about their experience in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Following the officer-involved shooting of Coleman, a 31-year-old Black man with mental illness, a Boston Police union official advised police officers not to talk on the same night grieving family members were being interviewed by investigators, according to recently released court records. Another union official, then union president Patrick Rose, also worked to secure new service weapons for the officers involved in the shooting when they had just surrendered theirs and weren’t licensed to carry a private firearm.

The new information is revealed in depositions of the officers filed by the attorneys of Hope Coleman, Terrence's mother, who is suing the City of Boston and the officers in federal court for the death of her son.

Terrence Coleman was fatally shot during a911 response from the Boston Police Department and Emergency Medical Services in October 2016. Police officers say the shooting occurred after Coleman lunged at them with a knife, a claim Hope Coleman disputes.

Hope Coleman is trying to compel the City of Boston and other defendants to release more information. The incidents also involve Patrick Rose, former head of the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association (BPPA), who helped the officers to secure police department issued firearms after they surrendered theirs as part of the investigation. Rose retired in 2018 and was charged in August 2020 for alleged sexual abuse of many children over decades. He’s pleaded not guilty. Rose's attorney William Keefe could not be reached after multiple attempts for comment on this story.

The BPPA couldn’t be reached either, and the Boston Police Department declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office determined in 2017 that officer Garrett Boyle, who fired the gun that killed Coleman, was justified in using deadly force.

But Brock Satter, organizer for Mass Action Against Police Brutality, says new details prompt concern about whether the investigation was hindered.

“We’re very concerned about the investigation being obstructed in any way,” said Satter, whose group has organized annual vigils on the date of Coleman’s death, calling for accountability.

Coleman’s attorneys also declined to comment for this story. But in court records they detail a scenario where the two officers involved were being protected by the BPPA, while Coleman family members, including children, were being interviewed about what happened.

In depositions, the two responding officers, Kevin Finn and Boyle, detail how union representative Thomas Antonino was present outside of the Coleman house before they even got in an ambulance.

Finn said Antonino accompanied them in the ambulance to Boston Medical Center. He didn’t “know why” the union representative joined for the ride, and never asked. Boyle said in his deposition that he told Antonino he was the shooter.

“Don’t say anything,” he said he was told by Antonino. Boyle affirmed to Coleman’s attorneys that he was aware of paperwork Antonino filled out claiming he “immediately assisted the officers involved making sure no one questioned them.”

The officers also describe how Rose showed up and spoke to each of them at the hospital, although they couldn’t remember many specifics. Finn said Rose later called him and said he needed a gun because his name would become public soon, although he had just surrendered his service weapon to investigators.

Finn said Rose asked him if he had a “license to carry,” which he didn’t. He responded, "Well, your name is going to come out. The media is going to put your name out. You will want to go to the range. You will want a firearm at home because your name is coming out."

Finn claims that Rose told him to go to a shooting range and people there would “know he was coming” to get a new police department issued gun. “They are going to give you a gun just to have a gun at home,” Finn claims that Rose said, calling it “more of a self-defense thing” for his own protection.

Boyle was similarly asked by Rose if he had a firearm at home, to which he said he didn’t.

According to Boyle, Rose said, "We don't want one of our officers at home without a firearm.” Boyle thought Rose requested through the Police Commissioner Bill Evans that he be reissued one, and he was, despite being the person who pulled the trigger of the weapon killing Coleman.

Asked why Rose had a role in getting him a service weapon rather than someone in his immediate chain of command, Boyle said, “Because that's the union, you know. The union is about caring for other officers. He's just worried about my well-being at home. He was there and capable of getting it done.”

Boyle, like Finn, wasn’t licensed to carry at the time of the shooting, and he told Rose that. “So he set me up with that as well,” Boyle told attorneys, and spoke with the BPD’s licensing unit.

In another deposition, a member of the police department team that investigates officers who discharge firearms or are involved with those incidents explained how someone without a license to carry could get another gun, and still be an officer.

“If they are carrying a Department weapon issued by the Police Commissioner, they don't need a license to carry,” said Sergeant Detective Marc Sullivan, who was part of the Firearm Discharge Investigative Team investigating the Coleman shooting.

Asked if this applies even when officers aren’t on active duty, he said yes, and that’s protected by state statute.

“We don't need a license to carry, as long as it's a Department firearm,” he said. Personal weapons aren’t allowed without the license, similar to the rest of Massachusetts residents.

He also explained the quick turnaround for keeping officers armed — even if they’re in the middle of an investigation.

The Firearm Discharge Investigative Team, Sullivan said, has to take the firearms of any officer involved in a shooting. If the police commissioner is “comfortable with everything” he can reissue a new weapon "right away to those officers," said Sullivan. The commissioner has the discretion of applying that to officers who are on leave, he said. That’s exactly what then Commissioner Bill Evans did.

On Nov. 2, records show that Evans signed documents allowing Boyle and Finn to get new service weapons, following a medical or psychological exam, and that they could carry a firearm without restrictions, contingent on requalification at the shooting range.

According to Finn’s deposition, he had a new gun within a couple days of Coleman’s death, and didn't mention requalification in his deposition.

The City of Boston Law Department, which had an attorney present for the depositions, forwarded GBH News’ questions to Mayor Michelle Wu’s office. The Mayor's office declined to comment, saying it is in the midst of ongoing litigation.

Satter, of Mass Action Against Police Brutality, said the scenario of the Boston union officials facilitating new guns to the police officers was troubling.

“That's crazy,” he said, “that they would step outside of, really, their jurisdiction to even issue guns. All that casts doubt on their conduct that night.”