BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — During an impassioned speech in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said he would not call the man being charged in Floyd's death "an officer."
Commissioner Gross spoke outside City hall on Saturday, as part of a prayer vigil held by Mayor Marty Walsh, and attended by several religious and local community leaders.
Commissioner Gross said there are certain ways to lead a law enforcement department.
"You should lead your departments with bias-free policing," said Commissioner Gross. "You should lead your department with fair and impartial policing, procedural justice, and for God's sake de-escalation. This is what is taught in 21st century policing, as touted by President Obama, who had that study done."
Gross said several of the clergy also in attendance at the vigil had helped raise him, taught him "the importance of life no matter what color", and taught him the nation's all-inclusive history.
"We should not... ever have to view a video like we did that emanated from Minneapolis, as an officer knelt on Mr. Floyd's neck until he was calling out his mother's name," said Commissioner Gross. "That is not the way we police. That is not the way we are going to police."
The Commissioner said he was speaking on behalf of several law enforcement organizations, including the Mass. Chiefs Association, the Massachusetts chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"This isn't like past incidents. You've seen all of us come out and denounce those actions of that officer," Gross continued. "Excuse me, I won't even call him an officer. The actions of that man, taking another's life in front of us. We denounce it."
Gross said the actions of Derek Chauvin, who has now been charged in Floyd's death, "is not indicative of all law enforcement," but to those who think it is, "we have to prove that it isn't that way."
(Photo: Boston Police Department)