As the end of Mayor Walsh’s time in Boston continues to creep closer to a end, one major question has still been left unanswered. Who will lead the Boston Police Department into the new administration. Dennis White, who is still listed on the Police Department’s website as the Commissioner, is on leave pending the completion of an investigation in to 22-year-old accusations of domestic violence according to the Walsh administration. Monday, top Law Enforcement Officials and Community Leaders from across the Commonwealth came together and sent a letter to Mayor Walsh demanding his immediate reinstatement, insinuating that the Mayor’s handling of this matter was a failure on all fronts. The full letter is shown below:
When the news first broke, most reacted with shock to the claims that the new Boston Police Commissioner was being accused of domestic violence related allegations, and applauded the Mayor’s quick and swift actions at removing him from his position. However, as more details have emerged, many have started to question the move and the motive behind it, citing a lack of evidence, no criminal charges, and even family members coming to his defense, rebuffing the claims.
White, who is the second African American to hold the position of Police Commisioner in Boston, has been widely praised by Law Enforcement and Community Leaders, with many questioning if he would have been removed so swiftly had he been Caucasian. Uncertainty has grown over the past few weeks with Mayor Walsh’s imminent departure, and with the investigation still unresolved, the department has seemingly come to a standstill according to sources. Since the suspension, White has had a long line of supporters including his old boss now retried Commisioner Gross. A 32-year veteran of the department, White faithfully served as Gross’ Chief of Staff prior to his appointment, as well as a champion and prominent member of the City Task Force on Police Reform where he dedicated a significant amount of time to helping transform Boston Police into a more modern department.
The first call to action came from a group of African American religious and community leaders who held a press conference calling for his reinstatement. Then Tiffany White, his daughter and alleged victim, then gave an interview to WBUR insisting that the allegations against her father were false. Finally a full-page advert in the Globe was sponsored by a number of prominent minority Law Enforcement leaders, noting that White had never been charged with a crime or punished for his alleged actions.
Now with this latest push for White’s reinstatement, a letter sent to Mayor Walsh on Monday calls for the swift and immediate return of White to position of Commissioner, the questions remains, will Mayor Walsh step up to the plate or leave the City he claims to care for hanging. The letter, which was signed by twenty of the top Law Enforcement leaders in the Commonwealth, calls out the Walsh administration for the lack of transparency, noting a lack of updates and communication. Leaders who singed the letter include Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins who is the President of NOBLE Massachusetts, William G. Gross the Former Boston Police Commissioner, Chief Kenneth Green of the MBTA Transit Police, Reverend Jeffrey Brown the Founder of RECAP, Jamarhl Crawford of the Boston Police Task Force, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins as well as a number of others.