Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Mass. AG Supports POST Commission Nomination After Boston Police Demotion – NBC Boston

By meerna Jul11,2024
Mass. AG Supports POST Commission Nomination After Boston Police Demotion – NBC Boston

Attorney General Andrea Campbell on Wednesday disagreed with Boston’s mayor and the police department over the demotion of an employee she appointed from a commanding position to a commission that sets standards for law enforcement after his appointment to a state board.

Eddy Chrispin, Campbell’s recent addition to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, was a member of the Boston Police Department’s command staff until his role changed. The POST Commission was created by the 2020 criminal justice reform bill that followed the murder of George Floyd and implements accountability measures and certification for law enforcement officers throughout Massachusetts.

Chrispin was nominated by the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and selected by Campbell to serve on the commission.

“His application was astounding,” Campbell told Boston Public Radio’s GBH Wednesday. “I know him from my work on the City Council and the work he’s done in the community. But the number of letters of support and recommendations — it was astounding. Including support from people who have served in BPD.”

POST Executive Director Enrique Zuniga issued a statement Monday saying he was “deeply disappointed” that Chrispin was demoted from BPD deputy chief to detective sergeant because of his state commission appointment.

“We therefore call on the BPD to reverse its decision and immediately reinstate Commissioner Chrispin to his former rank. We see no justifiable reason why Commissioner Chrispin’s appointment to the POST Commission would result in his demotion,” the statement reads.

Zuniga continued, “We understand that BPD demoted Commissioner Chrispin, alleging concerns about conflicts of interest due to his position on the command staff. Like any other state agency, the POST Commission has procedures for dealing with conflicts of interest that may arise. Commissioners routinely disclose or recuse themselves from a specific case that presents a conflict of interest. Additionally, current and former commissioners have held positions on the agency’s command staff, such as chief of police, while serving as commissioners.”

When Mayor Michelle Wu was a guest on GBH’s radio show on Tuesday, co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan asked the mayor about the topic.

Wu defended BPD Commissioner Michael Cox’s right to choose his leadership team, adding that she was not involved in individual discussions about Chrispin’s role.

“The commissioner truly believes that it is in the best interest of the department and POST to function well and each perform their duties — POST as the oversight agency that regulates the police departments in Boston and across the state, and the command staff as the internal decision-making and oversight unit focused solely on the city of Boston — that preserving their independence is in the best interest of how he wants to select and organize his command staff,” Wu said.

A Boston police deputy superintendent has been demoted after joining the POST Commission, a board that oversees police in Massachusetts. Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Police Department commented on the matter Tuesday amid some controversy.

Campbell told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday that she had not heard a compelling reason for Chrispin to be demoted, adding that it was actually good that the board had active members serving in important roles.

“If anything, it actually encourages – the POST statute and every police practice – encourages people to be active law enforcement and also to have some meaningful role in POST because they bring some perspective. And I was certain, as was my team, that he would not violate any of the secrets of Commissioner Cox or anyone else who holds that position,” the attorney general said.

Campbell said she has conveyed her concerns to the city of Boston, arguing that Cox needs to be “absolutely clear on the rationale and the argument.”

“And you haven’t heard a reason like that yet?” Braude asked.

“No,” Campbell replied quickly.

The Boston Globe reported that Chrispin was given the choice of remaining on Cox’s command staff and resigning from the state panel, or keeping his position on the POST Commission. He chose to remain on the state oversight board, costing him an estimated $40,000 pay cut.

By meerna

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