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Wu releases child-raping cop's internal-affairs, personnel files; to seek contract changes to keep somebody like him from staying on the force

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.

But also:

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).

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Comments

Section 97D. All reports of rape and sexual assault or attempts to commit such offenses, all reports of abuse perpetrated by family or household members, as defined in section 1 of chapter 209A, and all communications between police officers and victims of such offenses or abuse shall not be public reports and shall be maintained by the police departments in a manner that shall assure their confidentiality; provided, however, that all such reports shall be accessible at all reasonable times, upon written request, to: (i) the victim, the victim's attorney, others specifically authorized by the victim to obtain such information, prosecutors and (ii) victim-witness advocates as defined in section 1 of chapter 258B, domestic violence victims' counselors as defined in section 20K of chapter 233, sexual assault counselors as defined in section 20J of chapter 233, if such access is necessary in the performance of their duties; and provided further, that all such reports shall be accessible at all reasonable times, upon written, telephonic, facsimile or electronic mail request to law enforcement officers, district attorneys or assistant district attorneys and all persons authorized to admit persons to bail pursuant to section 57 of chapter 276. Communications between police officers and victims of said offenses and abuse may also be shared with the forgoing named persons if such access is necessary in the performance of their duties. A violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.

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Voting closed 14

If Patty was doing this today?

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Voting closed 8

But the City did a poor job of redacting PII from his personnel file (and has probably violated the law as a result). His SSN and DOB are readable in the file.

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Voting closed 49

How much do you want to bet this story gets buried by our esteemed local media who had been beating the drum for Wu to release personnel files?

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Voting closed 17

We're on, right?

Good, now pay up. They even have one of those top-of-the-page Breaking Doom ticker things about the story.

Since that might have emptied your coffers, I'll toss this one your way for free.

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Voting closed 38

Forced her hand after she lied last month saying BPD wouldn’t release the documents when she had the authority to do so.

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Voting closed 8

BPD, MSP and Transit better start reviewing all sexual assault allegations made against their members in the last twenty years that were covered up.

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Voting closed 10

I thnk the file release is great, but she's being dishonest about her reasoning, she doesn't have the courage of her convictions.

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Voting closed 12

Yes, but who made the decision to allow this pervert to return to duty?

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Voting closed 10

Wu said there's just no documentation at all about that.

She was also asked whether she had tried to talk to people in charge of BPD back then, but didn't answer.

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Voting closed 15

I’m not. The expectation that the rules don’t apply - sorry “courtesies” - is plainly visible for even minor stuff like parking.

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Voting closed 13

Not only did the victim recant, but the caregivers all claimed they were coerced and pressured into making the incriminating statements. It sucks, but the department was not left in a great position.

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Voting closed 19

Fire him, lose any evidentiary hearing because your entire case is based on recanted allegations, pay him back pay and reinstate.

OR

Take your legal advisor's advice that you don't have a chance of prevailing before an arbitrator/civil service, and reinstate him.

Politically, option one is probably the smarter move. You can then blame the arbitrator/civil service when they flip the decision. "We did everything we could, etc."

But from a legal perspective, I don't fault them for taking the second option.

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Voting closed 8

So disingenuous, she should have just released the files without looking for cover. It's called integrity.

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Voting closed 14

The city wants to be careful about not releasing any identifiable information about the victims, so as not to scare off future victims from sharing information with detectives in other cases.

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Voting closed 20

Nice Adam, but you should have included the phrase, “Once upon a time”:

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Voting closed 4