Boston mayor fires city's police commissioner months after domestic abuse allegations emerge

Boston mayor fires city's police commissioner months after domestic abuse allegations emerge
© Boston Police Department

Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey (D) announced on Monday that she had fired Police Commissioner Dennis White over allegations of domestic abuse that surfaced in February.

As The New York Times reports, Janey, Boston's first Black and female mayor, has been trying to remove White ever since an independent investigation in May described him hitting and threatening to shoot his ex-wife in 1999 and another woman alleged he hit her.

White, who is the Boston Police Department's second Black commissioner, dismissed the allegations as false and racist, an argument that Janey rejected.


“The disparate treatment of Black people in our country is a genuine concern, but let’s be clear: Racism is a burden carried by both men and women of color, and I will not turn a blind eye to domestic violence against Black women, or any women, for that matter,” Janey said in a statement, the Times reports.

Janey blasted White for failing to express remorse and said keeping him on “would send a chilling message to victims of domestic violence, and reinforce a culture of fear and a blue wall of silence in our Police Department.” She also said that after he was placed on leave in February, White had "fostered a climate of intimidation" by hanging around the police department in an effort to obstruct the investigation into the allegations.

An investigation by The Boston Globe revealed that White had been ordered to stay away from both his ex-wife and children as well as surrender his weapons in a restraining order that was issued after the reported domestic assault incidents.

“These disturbing issues were not known to me or my staff, but should have been at the forefront,” former Boston Mayor Marty WalshMarty WalshPoultry plant fined M over 'entirely avoidable' deaths of six workers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots On The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team MORE (D), who swore White in, said in a statement at the time. “Upon learning of these serious allegations, I immediately acted.”

Walsh left his role as mayor to serve as President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE's Labor secretary.

Nick Carter, White's attorney, shot back at Janey's decision to fire his client, saying 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.”

Carter added that White planned to file a civil rights claim against Boston “to send a message that this kind of unlawful and harmful treatment must not be allowed to happen again to anyone.”