The Somerville Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the police blunder.
"There are mistakes of the heart, and there are mistakes of the head. This is a mistake of the head," Devereaux said. "If you asked your kid to clean out the garage and he wanted to do a good job for you, and he accidentally threw out your Ted Williams autographed ball, you wouldn't sell your kid to the neighbor.
"At the end of the day, your shoulders sag a little lower, you admit your mistakes and stride forward."
Still, Devereaux insisted that "somebody is going to take a hit for this.
"We have to answer to the people who pay our salaries," he said, though he maintained that any disclipinary action taken would probably not mean any of the officers losing their job.
In this case, the loss of the evidence may be enough.