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Teen drowns at High School grad party

Days after a Massachusetts teenager died of a drowning incident at a high school graduation party, hundreds of people took to the streets, marching in demand of answers.

According to the story originally reported by the Boston Globe, 17-yearold Alonzo Polk, of Dedham, was found submerged in an inground backyard pool at a friend's home and died days later at a Boston hospital.

Polk graduated Dedham High School on June 5, the day of the incident, and spent the evening visiting a few parties with his classmates, relatives said. He called his family late that night to let them know he was OK. Soon after, they received a devastating phone call.

Authorities say that around 12:30 a.m. June 6, police responded to 911 calls reporting a possible drowning at the home, half a mile from Polk’s own house. The victim, later identified as Polk, was taken by ambulance to a Boston hospital, where he died Friday, June 11.

Two days later, hundreds gathered in front of Polk’s house for a candlelight vigil and unity march, carrying signs that read, 'Justice for Alonzo,' and shirts that said, 'A.P. Strong,' accompanied by Dedham police, who used cruisers to block streets as other officers rode along on bicycles. The group marched the half mile from Polk’s house to the house where he drowned, placing candles on a rock wall there. It was unclear whether anyone was home.

Authorities are still investigating the circumstances of the incident, and are seeking criminal charges against the people involved.

Property records indicate the house belongs to retired Massachusetts State Police Officer, James Coughlin.

Police said they had filed a criminal complaint in Dedham District Court seeking misdemeanor charges against people whom they did not identify. Police said the names of the individuals and details of the incident will not be shared publicly “until such time as the Court makes a determination of probable cause and conducts an arraignment.”

Charges include furnishing alcohol to persons under 21 and reckless endangerment of a child, police said.

Polk had graduated with honors from Dedham High School, family members said. He had several scholarships, and had been accepted to Bridgewater State University where he hoped to play football while studying engineering.

In a message to parents, Dedham Public Schools said: “Alonzo will be remembered as a kind, personable student, teammate and friend. Alonzo always gave his best and was someone who invariably left others smiling during their interactions. He was a pleasure to know because of his positive attitude and will to succeed.”

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