Mayor Wu today released more detailed files related to the child-rape case involving a police officer who eventually became head of the patrolmen's union, said his initial case should never have been allowed to linger as long as it did and said she hopes to work with the Boston police union to ensure somebody like him will never again be allowed to remain on the force.
In 1995, Patrick Rose was charged with raping a boy under 14, less than a year and a half after Rose was hired as a Boston police officer. He was formally charged in West Roxbury Municipal Court and placed on administrative duty. But as an investigation went on, the child decided not to testify and, in fact, recanted his statements, so first the criminal charge was dismissed and then, eventually, Rose regained his rank as an active patrolman, which ultimately led to him being elected president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association - even as he was raping several more children over the course of two decades.
Rose pleaded guilty in April to 21 counts of child rape and sexual assault over a 27-year period, and is currently serving 10 to 13 years in state prison.
At a press conference this afternoon, Wu said that she and her legal and labor-relations teams went over every record the city has on Rose repeatedly over the last few months and that she came to two conclusions, starting with:
Patrick Rose should have been terminated immediately after the IAD investigation concluded, regardless of the status of the criminal case against him.
The public call for the full release of the Patrick Rose files has been driven by a need to understand how the Department and the City could possibly have allowed Rose to keep his badge and his gun, even after learning he had sexually assaulted a child. Regrettably, while the IA file reflects the full investigation into Rose, neither the IA file nor the other city records we are releasing here document the decision not to discipline or terminate him. To the best of our knowledge, no such city documentation exists.
The files, which you can download below, are redacted to protect the identities of the child in question and witnesses, Wu said.
Wu said that one of the first priorities of the new police commissioner, whose hiring she said will come soon, will be to help figure out ways to prevent cases like Rose's to drag on, because, especially in cases of sexual abuse, the longer an investigation goes on, the more pressure witnesses come under to recant their testimony or just refuse to even testify at all.
"There is a continued urgency for the city of Boston and our police department to have the authority and resources to take urgent action when there is evidence of criminal, of misconduct, and to be able to immediately terminate officers after a violation of the public trust has been found," she said, calling for action on a troublesome officer within 30 to 60 days.
Wu said that this will include negotiating with the BPPA to help speed up such investigations and to make it easier to fire cops who, like Rose, deserve to be fired.
Louis Mandarini, Wu's chief labor negotiator, declined to give specific things the city might ask the union for, saying negotiating in public is the quickest way to not get what you're looking for, but said that there are certain basic concepts he is hopeful the city and the union can start with:
"The city's, the police department's and the union's interests are more than anybody realizes," he said. Allowing people like Rose to remain on the force "is corrosive to morale its corrosive to officers to see it happen, it's corrosive to the union."
The Herald reported yesterday that the unions that represent different levels of BPD personnel agreed that internal-affairs investigations should not be allowed to drag out.
Cover letter by Wu (107k PDF).
Rose timeline (82k PDF).
Rose's internal-affairs file (3.3M PDF).
Office of Labor Relations file on Rose (3M PDF).
Rose's personnel file (19M PDF).