Boston police retaliated against board member

Local News

Eddy Chrispin was demoted from deputy superintendent to sergeant detective after his appointment to the POST Commission last month.

Eddy Chrispin, then-deputy superintendent of the Boston Police Department, speaks to Haitian migrants earlier this year. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The state board overseeing police reform admonished Boston police Monday after the department demoted a veteran officer, apparently due to his appointment as a commissioner of the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.

The POST Commission is a nine-person board created out of a police reform bill in 2020, which gave a state commission unprecedented power to certify officers, look into officer misconduct, and rescind licenses.

Eddy Chrispin was demoted from deputy superintendent to sergeant detective after he was appointed to POST in June by the attorney general, the board’s Executive Director Enrique Zuniga said in a statement.

Zuniga asked BPD to reinstate Chrispin despite concerns around conflicts of interest, which he said is routinely handled among commissioners. 

“The Legislature was unmistakably clear that it intended for the POST Commission to be an independent police oversight body,” Zuniga wrote. “Yet, BPD has taken employment action against Commissioner Chrispin, a duly nominated and appointed commissioner, which has nothing to do with his performance for the BPD and everything to do with his service on the POST Commission.”

The other commissioners are a former superior court justice, the chief of staff of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, the chief of the Framingham Police Department, the president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, a trial attorney, a psychologist, a pastor, and the CEO of YWCA Central Massachusetts.

BPD did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night, but Mayor Michelle Wu stood behind Police Commissioner Michael Cox’s decision on Boston Public Radio Tuesday morning. Wu said that Cox decided to bar POST members from his command staff.

“I fully back his judgment,” she said, before lauding Cox for the low gun violence rates across the city. “Management matters, organizational health matters, and each of our departments should be led by someone who has the ability to put their own leadership team together.”

Chrispin, originally from Haiti, joined the department 1999 and was previously the president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, or MAMLEO.

Chrispin is now a board member of MAMLEO, which spoke against his demotion on Friday. In a statement, the association said BPD retaliates against and chastises officers of color who advocate for inclusivity.

“From the command staff down to the front line,” the statement said, “officers of color have been called in, called out and either denied opportunity or demoted in what can only be seen as a systematic effort to subjugate and silence them.”

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