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Mayor Janey Fires Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White; 'We Have A New Vision For Policing In Boston'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey said Monday she has fired suspended Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White.

White has been on administrative leave since February 3, two days after he was sworn in by then-Mayor Marty Walsh, because of a domestic incident with his ex-wife years ago. An independent investigator was hired to look into the decades-old allegations.

"Dennis White has repeatedly asserted that the domestic violence allegations against him are false, but he stated in his hearing and during the investigation that he has hit and pushed members of his household," Janey said at a news conference. "The allegations and evidence of this behavior raised serious questions about his fitness to lead the Boston Police Department."

White had unsuccessfully challenged his removal in court.

"It is a new day. We have a new vision for policing in Boston," Janey said. "We have to reimagine policing; we have to make sure that there is accountability and transparency."

White's attorney, Nick Carter, blasted Janey's "rush to judgement."

"He is a Black man, falsely accused of crimes, not given a fair trial or hearing, and then convicted, or terminated which is the equivalent here. This reflects an ugly pattern in our country," Carter said in a statement. "The Acting Mayor published the report and communicated that Dennis White was guilty of the allegations and needed to go, without pausing to evaluate the obvious flaws in the report. She destroyed a good man's name and livelihood in the process."

Dennis White
Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White (Image credit BPD News)

One of White's daughters and sister-in-law recorded affidavits that state he was the victim of domestic abuse, not the abuser. But his former wife told reporters that White is "not innocent," and left her with a scar on her wrist "from being dragged out the door."

"The allegations and evidence of this behavior raised serious questions about his fitness to lead the Boston Police Department," Janey said. "It is not in the best interest of the Boston Police Department, its employees, or the citizens of Boston for him to remain as Commissioner."

Superintendent-in-Chief Greg Long is currently serving as acting police commissioner as a nationwide search begins for White's replacement. Janey said all future candidates for police leadership positions will be subject to vetting and background checks.

The White saga has raised questions about now-Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who appointed him. White and former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross have said in affidavits that Walsh knew about the allegations against White. Walsh insists that he knew nothing about White's past, and has been backed up by former Police Commissioner William Evans.

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