Demands for Information, Accountability
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, some witnesses honored Woody's last request by telling reporters what they saw, in defiance of church officials' directions. The interim minister, Rev. Mero, spoke approvingly of the police action, and spoke for the congregation even though she did not witness the killing. The shooters were not detained or searched. Town Manager Jerry Remillard sounded defensive saying "Basically there was no delay of medical response,". A look at the timeline suggests why.
Within days of the shooting an accurate picture of what happened had been published in Vermont newspapers, thanks to the diligence of several reporters. The story of the 7 bullet assault and handcuffing of a man who had been threatening only himself prompted shock, outrage, and despair by individuals, and calls for fair investigations by editors. Martin's swift return of the shooters to active duty rubbed salt in the wounds of the bereaved. It also intensified public concerns about the training and procedures of the Brattleboro Police Department, just as the order came down to the officials to cease all public comment.
Community sentiments were brought into sharp focus at the January 20th town forum, in which speaker after speaker protested the handling of the incident by the Brattleboro Police Department and the Town Government.