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Janey wants to name a new police commissioner, but the one Walsh appointed is suing to block that

Acting Mayor Kim Janey said today it's time to move past the cloud over Dennis White and name a different person as commissioner, but that she can't because White has sued to block her decision to un-appoint him.

In a City Hall press conference, Janey said an independent investigation into White's alleged domestic-violence incident in the 1990s revealed a far more pervasive problem at BPD: "A culture of fear and silence within the Boston Police Department," the so-called "Blue Wall of Silence" that is willing to sweep problems under the rug.

Sworn police officers refused to speak to investigators, frustrating efforts to uncover the truth. What is often referred to as a blue wall of silence was confirmed by one retired officer who said he received five phone calls directing him not to cooperate with this investigation. Other officers were intimidated into silence, for fear of retaliation.

She said she talked to White, who remains on administrative leave, this morning and told him it was time to move on. "He did not agree" and his lawyer moved in court to block any hearing on whether to appoint somebody else to replace William Gross, who resigned as commissioner in January.

Although numerous press accounts, based on discussions with other city officials and sources within BPD, said Janey would name Supt. Nora Baston as the new commissioner, "I did not name who his successor would be," Janey said.

She said she has asked Shumeane Benford, Boston chief of emergency management, and Rahsaan Hall, director of director of the racial-justice program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, to assemble a task force to develop new policies for appointments to BPD command positions to ensure the department reflect's the city's values, especially when it comes to domestic violence and sexual assault. All future appointments, she said, will have to be "extensively vetted" to ensure the city does not wind up with abusers in its top ranks.

Going forward, all candidates for BPD leadership, whether internal or external, will be subject to vetting and background checks. The residents of Boston must have confidence that the officers charged with enforcing our laws are themselves people of integrity.

We will also work to strengthen the BPD domestic violence policy. The current policy is more than 15 years old. It is time to update these rules to reflect what social science research has shown about domestic violence, particularly the challenges faced by women of color and those abused by police officers.

For the first time, we will propose a sexual assault policy to govern our police force. We must have practices and procedures that protect victims from police intimidation and take into account the unique sensitivity of sexual violence.

In his lawsuit, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, White said the domestic-violence allegation is false and that the entire outside report, which he claims he got a copy of only today is bad and wrong and legally horrible.

The City hired an outside investigator to conduct the investigation. The investigation was suspect in its purpose and in how it unfolded procedurally. On February 24, it was cancelled, but then on March 1 it was resumed. ... No explanation was given. The investigation was biased. Clear evidence of that bias emerged during the investigation. The final report, which was delivered to Commissioner White only two hours ago, is also based on hearsay. Accordingly, the result is utterly unreliable and inadmissible.

The delay in providing the investigator’s report was unlawful and further evidence of a procedurally deficient process, which amounts to an ambush of Commissioner White. The report was provided to the City on or about Thursday, April 29, 2021. The report constitutes a personnel record on which the City is now relying to make its termination decision. See M.G.L. c. 149, sec. 52C. As a result, Commissioner White had a right to receive a copy within 5 business days. Despite his immediate and repeated written requests for a copy of the report, Janey and the City refused to provide it.

He said Janey called him at 10 this morning to inform him she'd be holding a hearing to end his two-day career as commissioner at 3 p.m. today.

Janey’s actions violate the Removal Statute. First, she has not provided due and meaningful notice. Second, the Statute does not permit her to hold a hearing as the presiding prosecutor, judge and jury. The Statute clearly contemplates and requires a judicial hearing that would provide independence and fairness. A hearing where the “judge” has made up her mind beforehand is no hearing.

His suit asks a judge to block Janey's action at least until after his suit is decided in court. A hearing on his request for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order was set for 10 p.m. on May 20.

Redacted copy of report on White allegation (4.3M PDF).
White's complaint (2.9M PDF).
White's request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction (22k PDF).

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Comments

All police officers who work in the city who have been arrested for domestic assault or sexual assault need to have their cases reopened and examined to make sure their was no favoritism.

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That’ll take awhile because studies show a ridiculous percentage of cops are wife beaters. People who want to get away with beating people become cops and those who want to get away with raping kids become priests.

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Voting closed 35

We can wait.

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But thanks.

That said, how does the average in the study compare with people (or let's say men) overall. 4.8% doesn't seem that high, and there certainly was a lot of variation in the numbers pointed out in the abstract.

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...to read all the way to the end of the old saying about what happens when you have a few bad apples

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It is some bullshit that Walsh picked Gross without doing a proper search for the best candidate and exceedingly bullshit that he picked White because Gross asked him to, when both were out the door.

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"Acting" Commissioner won't work for her?

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There already is one of those...

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Who ACTUALLY runs this city? Comment with a name below.

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Master Thespian.

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Ever notice how Uhub scoops everyone else? It's because Adam is Boston's secret overload.

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For the next few months the city is run by the Walsh administration, meaning the people Walsh appointed before he left.

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Someone posted here when Janey was going to get the Mayor job that an Acting Mayor didn't have the authority to appoint police and school commissioners. Was that incorrect?

Is there anything Janey can't do that a directly elected Mayor can?

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any type of drastic changes because of being essentially a place holder, as I understand it. I was at the Hall today for that presser and the buzz among the media was she was going to name Baston as Acting Commissioner.

Only Dennis White threw a wrench into that plan and the press just wanted to know about Baston. As opposed to this move to take some of the heat off the Pat Rose stink. So when they started peppering Janey with questions, her girl yelled “last question!!!” after 45 seconds and whisked her away.

She ain’t ready for being that prime time puppet yet,

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Section 11B of the Boston City Charter is confusing to me.

SECTION 11B. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE IS VACANT. •When the mayor is unable to perform his duties, the president of the city council will perform them.
•If the president of the city council cannot perform the duties of mayor then the city council shall choose a member to do so.
•This “acting mayor” may only perform urgent tasks, cannot make permanent appointments, and only holds office until either the city council president or the mayor returns.

So Janey is the president of the city council, yes? She's actually not the acting mayor, she's the City Council President performing the duties of the Office of Mayor. "Acting Mayor" is defined in the Charter as someone acting in place of the President who is acting in place of a Mayor. That means there is a difference between Council President acting as Mayor and someone else acting as Mayor in absence of an elected Mayor or Council President.

And issues related to the status of White's employment as Boston Police Commissioner were matters she inherited. So one could argue it is an urgent matter as it was unfinished business of an elected mayor.

This is way above my pay grade.

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She could appoint someone to an acting position. However, as there is already someone in that position she cannot do so. So if Gross had left while she was mayor, then she could appoint someone to hold the spot until a mayor is elected.

Now whether or not she can remove someone, is beyond me. I suppose one could argue that since the proceedings began while Walsh was in office, she is just closing up ongoing business. But I do not know if that flies.

End of the day, she is probably going to have to settle with White financially to get him out. She is going to have to endure that mess.

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I was pondering if Janey's actions would be violating the charter, and you better believe that there are three on the City Council who would be willing to call her on this.

That said, thought that while White was named commissioner, when he was put on leave there was an acting commissioner named. That would make that person the police commissioner until after the election, just as Janey is acting mayor for the same term (going on the idea that if she wins, she would be able to make permanent policy right after the election, as opposed to waiting until January.)

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There have been multiple shots fired, multiple people shot and stabbed, and multiple activations for the homicide unit tonight.

Just commenting here since this post is likely to generate a lot of comments about policing, the mayoral election, and people should know what is happening in this city. It’s getting really, really scary out there.

- a Boston Cop

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Okay???

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For still somehow having the spare time to post here

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was probably disturbing his nap down in the cruise port cell phone lot.

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https://www.wgbh.org/news/commentary/2020/10/15/boston-police-ignore-its...

https://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Boston-Massachusetts.html

Down every year since 2005.

No doubt there are bad days in the city where being a cop is a hard job but it's hardly Escape from NY out there.

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In the report released by Janey it notes that the investigators asked Chief Long for help contacting current and retired officers for interviews. Long then contacts Janey’s Chief of Staff, and at their instruction refuses to cooperate with investigators.

Then Janey turns around and complains of a wall of silence.

Why did Janey’s Chief of Staff tell Long not to assist with the interviews?

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She was acting! Brilliant!

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Everyone connected with White's appointment should be held to account for this, and everyone in law enforcement covering for him now should be removed from positions of power.

Gross' endorsement of Essaibi George is looking better and better too.

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Dennis is giving a whole new meaning to that old phrase.

Classy move throwing his teenaged niece down the stairs because she wouldn't have sex with him. Wonder what his brother thinks of that.

Mighty White of him.

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