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'Racial Double Standard': Ministers, Officers Call On Walsh To Reinstate New Police Commissioner

BOSTON (CBS) - There were powerful charges of racism from ministers and minority officers in Boston who gathered to support Dennis White, the city's newly appointed police commissioner suddenly placed on leave two days after being sworn in. "There is a racial double standard," said Rev. Eugene Rivers with the Black Ministerial Alliance.

Mayor Marty Walsh says he made the move after White was accused of domestic abuse in a 1999 divorce case, saying he didn't know about the allegations. There were never any charges, and the officers with the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers say White rose through the ranks of the department because he earned it.

"He's a man who is pro police reform, pro community of color, will hold officers accountable and because of that you quickly knock him down," said one of the members at the morning press conference.

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

The group is calling for a meeting with the mayor and asking him to reinstate White as acting commissioner until the investigation into the allegations is complete. "He's done his job, he's been effective and now you're going to pull up something 22 years ago that wasn't even a crime. That's a stretch," said Rivers.

Officer Emmanuel Dambreville called it a "political lynching" and said it's a power play that doesn't look out for the interest of people. The group charges White isn't being treated fairly because he's a Black man and the department's second Black commissioner.

Mayor Walsh refused any questions at his daily COVID briefing as he has done since being appointed secretary of labor in the Biden administration. But is now criticized for tarnishing a reputation without doing his homework.

"The guy that gets jacked up is the person who is the victim here. You made a hire without doing your due diligence and now you're humiliating him," said Rivers.

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