Hundreds rally to call for answers after Dedham teen drowns at graduation party

DEDHAM, Mass. — Hundreds of people turned out to rally Sunday night for answers after a 17-year-old teen drowned in a pool at a graduation party at a house in Dedham.

Alonzo Polk of Dedham, a star football and basketball player, was found unresponsive at the bottom of a pool at a high school graduation party on Netta Road last weekend.

People attending Sunday’s rally in his memory marched through the streets of Dedham to support Alonzo’s family.

Hundreds are now wondering whether someone needs to be charged in connection to the drowning death of this high school grad.

“We need answers. We need people to be charged. We need people to understand the pain that we’re going through,” said Shawn Drane, Alonzo’s brother.

Drane said his brother was about to celebrate his 18th birthday - and graduated high school last Saturday - hours before he drowned at the party.

“I don’t care what I have to do, I want justice for my son, everybody else’s kids are here and my son is gone,” said Debra Rowell, Alonzo’s mother.

Police said the homeowner of that graduation party could face charges for providing alcohol to minors as well as reckless endangerment to a child.

But that criminal complaint did not identify the homeowner.

“We know this is a retired state trooper’s home, what are they going to do about that? You’re in a position to protect and serve, this is prevention, you’re supposed to prevent things like this from happening,” Drane said.

Boston 25 News learned that the party took place at the home of former state police captain Jimmy Coughlin.

And that’s where Alonzo’s family marched on Sunday with hundreds of others.

The family stopped to light candles and say a prayer at that home where Alonzo drowned.

Then the group continued marching through Dedham, to Memorial Park.

Alonzo’s family says they want to know more about what led up to his drowning, and they hope criminal charges will be filed if someone is responsible for his death.

“It’s killing me, I need my baby and I’m never going to see him again, I need my baby,” Rowell said.

Along with Dedham Police, the Norfolk County district attorney is also investigating the teen’s death.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by the Dedham High Class of 2021 to support Alonzo’s family. For those who are interested in donating, click here.

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