BOSTON, MA – Earlier in February, Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White was placed on leave just two days after being appointed as police commissioner due to decades-old allegations of domestic abuse surfacing.
Yet, the daughter of the police commissioner – who also happens to be the daughter of the purported victim – claims that the abuse allegations are completely fabricated.
"That man has never hit my mother, ever,” Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White's daughter Tiffany told GBH News in an emotional interview Monday.https://t.co/LnTrHfZ5ca
— GBH News (@GBHNews) February 16, 2021
It was on February 1st that 32-year veteran Officer White was sworn in to take the helm as police commissioner for the BPD, following the announced retirement of Commissioner William Gross.
Yet, just two days later, Commissioner White was placed on leave after news surfaced of a 1999 domestic abuse allegation against Commissioner White.
According to the alleged incident from 1999, Commissioner White had allegedly shoved his then-wife and even threatened to shoot her. His wife at the time was also reportedly a police officer, from what court paperwork says.
Commissioner White’s then-wife had told police at the time that she thought “he may come inside and kill me because he’s angry.” At the time, Commissioner White had denied the allegations, and a judge had issued a restraining order against him.
But the restraining order is all that seems to have amounted from the allegations at the time.
But in an interesting turn of events, Commissioner White’s 38-year-old daughter Tiffany claims that her mother completely made up the allegations at the time:
“It was a lie. It was a lie.”
Considering Tiffany’s current age, she would’ve been around 17 years old at the time the incident allegedly occurred. Tiffany characterized her parents’ relationships as having, “problems like any couple,” but she’d never once seen her father raise a hand to her mother:
“I can 100 percent guarantee everything on my soul – I would put that on the line – that man has never hit my mother. Ever.”
However, what Tiffany does remember is that her mother seemed to demonstrate some violence aimed at her father:
“I have seen my mother put her hands on my father, throw stuff at him. And I have seen him try to get away.”
With Commissioner White being the second African American to hold the role of police commissioner within the BPD, his placement on leave has also stoked the ire of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers.
Just days after he was appointed, Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White was placed on leave Thursday after domestic violence allegations from more than 20 years ago surfaced. https://t.co/2yVuwOjpn2
— NBC10 Boston (@NBC10Boston) February 5, 2021
In a recent statement from the association, there was both expressed confusion over needing to reinvestigate a decades-old domestic abuse allegation as well as the decision to place the police commissioner on leave before the investigation reached any conclusion:
“While we are confused as to why additional investigation is necessary, given that the accusation must have been known and fully vetted before, we do not object.”
“What we object to is the decision to immediately place a minority police officer on leave pending an investigation for an unspecified period of time versus conducting the investigation and then making a decision.”
In the years that followed the alleged 1999 abuse allegation, Tiffany says her mother hasn’t tried to resurface these claims as her father rose through the ranks of the BPD. Furthermore, she says that the two have been amicable when interacting during functions where they’re both present:
“They’ve been at family functions together. They’ve been in weddings together, they’re cordial. They’re not best friends. But…when they see each other, whoever initiates a hug, the other one gives a hug.”
While many officials within the city have been engaging in proverbial pearl-clutching at the news of the allegation from 1999, local community activist Jamarhl Crawford – who also previously served on the city’s police reform task force – said one shouldn’t rush to judgement on this matter:
“We are talking about allegations from 21 years ago. That’s problematic for me.”
Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long will serve as acting police commissioner until the investigation is concluded regarding Commissioner White.
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We at Law Enforcement Today reported on when the police commissioner was initially placed on leave earlier in February.
Here’s that previous report.
BOSTON, MA – Boston’s top cop, who was just sworn in on February 1st, was placed on leave February 3rd after the mayor learned of domestic violence allegations made more than 20 years ago.
Mayor Marty Walsh said that “disturbing issues” were brought to his attention claiming new Police Commissioner Dennis White threatened to shoot his ex-wife, who was also a police officer, in 1999. White denied the allegations at the time, according to the newspaper.
Boston’s new police commissioner is placed on leave as domestic violence allegations from more than 20 years ago surface days after he was elevated to the job.https://t.co/uqvYDRlhmR
— David Crary (@CraryAP) February 4, 2021
City Council President Kim Janey, who will become acting mayor if Walsh is confirmed as President Biden’s labor secretary, called the allegations against White, “deeply concerning.”
White has been placed on leave while the city investigates the allegations. Walsh said the city’s legal team will consult with outside legal counsel to conduct an impartial investigation:
“Upon learning of these serious allegations, I immediately acted, placing the Commissioner on administrative leave, while corporation counsel engages outside counsel to conduct a full and impartial investigation.”
— Jim Taggart, Boston Fire & Casualty (@JimTaggartBFC) February 4, 2021
White was asked to fill the position left vacant by the unexpected retirement of former Commissioner William Gross, who retired Friday after serving in the department for 37 years. He served as commissioner for the last two and a half years.
Walsh claimed he was unaware of the domestic violence allegations when he asked White to step into the role:
“In an attempt to create a smooth transition and honor former Commissioner Gross’s desire to spend time with his family, Dennis White was asked to quickly step into the role of Police Commissioner, beginning last Friday.
These disturbing issues were not known to me or my staff but should have been at the forefront.
“Upon learning of these serious allegations, I immediately acted, placing the Commissioner on administrative leave, while corporation counsel engages outside counsel to conduct a full and impartial investigation.
In the interim, Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long will serve as acting Commissioner.”
— John R. Ellement (@jrebosglobe) February 4, 2021
According to the Boston Globe, White was accused of pushing and threatening to shoot his then-wife. On May 5, 1999, a judge issued a restraining order against White, ordering him to avoid contact with his wife and children, to vacate his home, and surrender his service weapon.
White’s then-wife wrote in her request for the restraining order:
“We argue a lot and he is always trying to push me down and I am afraid that he may come inside and kill me because he is angry.”
No charges were filed against White at the time, and he has denied the allegations.
White said at the time of his selection for the top post:
“To the community and all the members of the Boston Police Department, I pledge to uphold our mission of community policing each and every day. Serving as Commissioner is the honor of a lifetime, and I will never take this sacred duty for granted.”
Walsh said Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long will serve as acting commissioner until the investigation is completed.
After being sworn in Monday, White pledged to prioritize community engagement to build trust with citizens after a violent summer of racial justice demonstrations and the pandemic.
Prior to being appointed commissioner, White served as deputy superintendent in the Office of the Superintendent-in-Chief and the Bureau of Field Services Night Command before being promoted to Chief of Staff for Gross.
Why background research is done before the hire: Horse out of the barn- 2 days after sworn in as the 43rd commissioner of the #Boston Police Department, Dennis White has been placed on administrative leave for "disturbing issues," says clueless mayor. https://t.co/DHwGQvcG79
— John Nardizzi (@AuthorPI) February 4, 2021
Upon announcing the selection of White to replace Gross, Walsh praised the veteran officer:
“Superintendent White is a proven leader who is trusted and respected in the community and by his colleagues in the Boston Police Department.
I’m confident that Dennis will continue to advance the progress made by Commissioner Gross, including implementing community-led recommendations for police reform, while drawing on his own extensive career experience to bring fresh ideas and innovative thinking to the department.”
At White’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Walsh praised his service to the city:
“I am confident he will continue the Boston Police Department’s reputation as a leader in community policing and advance the department’s commitment to accountability and transparency and help lead the Boston Police Department into a new era.”
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