2 Boston City Councilors Want Updates On Investigation Into Officer Who May Have Attended Capitol Riot
Two Boston city councilors are asking the newly installed police commissioner to publicly release updates about any investigations into Boston officers who may have attended the U.S. Capitol riot in January.
Julia Mejia and Andrea Campbell sent the letter to Commissioner Dennis White on Monday, the day he was sworn in by Mayor Marty Walsh.
The councilors also called for hearings into the implementation of state and local police reforms, including the city’s new oversight agency, the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, or OPAT. The recommendations say OPAT, which will investigate citizen complaints against police and internal police investigations conducted by the department, will be up and running by July.
Last month, The Boston Globe reported that the police department was investigating whether an officer attended the U.S. Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C., after concerning social media posts surfaced that appeared to be from the officer. The posts allegedly showed photos of the riot and contained a threat against former Vice President Mike Pence. The Globe said it did not name the officer because it couldn’t “confirm the authenticity of the posts.”
“The residents of Boston deserve to know how the Boston Police Department is implementing changes to how it operates to create greater transparency and accountability, which includes how it is investigating its members who may have been involved in the raid of the Capitol,” the councilors wrote in the letter.
Mejia and Campbell, who is running for mayor, said any report of the investigation and its findings should be made public, “as it would within the requirements of the OPAT.”
“It’s actually quite simple,” Campbell said in an interview Wednesday. “If we have officers who willingly participated in that attack on our Capitol, they should be immediately fired. End of the day, this needs to be more public because there are a lot of questions, but nothing has been released.”
A Boston police spokesman, Sgt. Det. John Boyle, said the department is investigating tweets, but declined to comment further. He did not confirm whether Boston police are investigating a single officer or multiple officers.
Boyle said White, who served on the police reform task force that made the city’s recommendations, would take part in the implementation of the reforms. After his swearing-in ceremony Monday, White said it will be his “duty and honor” to make sure all the reforms are put into place.
The city council is expected to take up the request for the hearings into the timeline for police reforms at its meeting Wednesday.