One day after a police oversight agency criticized the demotion of one of its members within the Boston Police Department, Mayor Michelle Wu supported Boston Police Commissioner Cox for his decision.

She also contradicted the department’s statement that it was “inaccurate” that officer Eddy Chrispin had been demoted from his high-ranking position within BPD in connection to his appointment to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST).

“The commissioner really believes that the best interest of the department and POST to function well and each do their job ... that to keep those [the POST Commission and the Boston Police command staff] independent would be in the best interest of how he wants to choose and set up his command staff,” Wu said on Boston Public Radio Tuesday.

Chrispin was appointed to Boston’s police command staff under former Commissioner William Gross. The staff is a small group who set policy and supervise the department.

The POST Commission is a statewide police-oversight body formed under a 2020 law that is empowered to decertify Massachusetts police officers for misconduct, which would prohibit them from working in any law enforcement agency in the state.

Chrispin was appointed to serve on the POST Commission by state Attorney General Andrea Campbell in May. He was later demoted from his rank of deputy superintendent to sergeant detective.

Some advocates and former law enforcement officially have publicly pushed back against his demotion. Larry Ellison, a retired Boston officer and former MAMLEO president, told GBH News Monday the demotion could discourage others from serving and keep well-suited officers off the POST Commission.

Wu said she supported Cox’s decision to make serving on those two entities mutually exclusive and that Chrispin was presented with a choice.

“The decision was command staff or POST,” she said.

“There’s basically a policy that, he’s decided that ... POST positions should be held by those who are not on the command staff in Boston to keep those entities both fulfilling their respective missions fully,” Wu said, adding that “[Cox] needs to have every ability to shape the team around him.”

Still, Wu called Chrispin an “important voice” around the city’s police reform, and she celebrated his appointment to the POST Commission.

Wu’s defense of Cox’s decision to keep BPD command staff ineligible from serving on the POST Commission is in conflict with a statement Boston Police provided to GBH News on Monday.

When asked to respond to a social media post alleging that Chrispin was demoted as a result of his appointment to the POST Commission, Mariellen Burns, the department’s Chief of Internal and External Communications said on Monday that “summary of what occurred is inaccurate.”

Asked for clarification Tuesday, Burns said Chrispin’s appointment “was a factor in his demotion, but not the only factor.” Burns did not clarify what those other factors were.

Updated: July 09, 2024
This story was updated with additional comment from a BPD spokesperson. It was also updated to clarify the department's original statement.