BPD Commissioner Gross Defending Decision To Meet With AG Barr

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is defending his decision to meet with U.S. Attorney William Barr, a move that has been criticized by multiple local leaders.

"I'll be damned if I'm going to hide from a conversation from anyone," Gross said.

The Department of Justice tweeted out a photo of Gross and Barr, writing "Commissioner Gross told us it was the first time a U.S. Attorney General had visited Boston PD. Thank you, Comm. Gross, for your wonderful hospitality and invaluable insight and advice."

After that photo was posted, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted we are constantly "in court against Bill Barr."

"I can tell you this man does not care about justice or the people of Boston," Healey wrote.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also spoke out against the move on Twitter, writing "Attorney General Barr and the Trump Administration do not share Boston’s values or my values. His actions and general lack of respect for people and their rights are a danger to our city and the future of our country."

Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu also said she was against the move, tweeting "don't welcome the person who dismisses systemic racism & creates/enforces racist policies through abuses of power!!! This is a disgrace to our city & a breach of trust to our communities"

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley also criticized the meeting and addressed Barr in a tweet, saying "let's skip the pleasantries."

"Next time you set foot in my district I demand a face to face meeting where you look me in the eye and explain why you tear gassed peaceful protestors," Pressley wrote.

Commissioner Gross has since responded to the criticism, and has defended his decision to meet with Barr.

“Shame on you. I’m not about politics or political aspirations," Gross said. "I spoke for the people of Boston today to a top official in D.C. that I think needed to hear the message from a black man, from a proud police commissioner."

In a statement, Gross said he "would rather take the opportunity to educate someone on what we are doing in Boston on how we value and work with the community, and how we support our officers in this work, than close a door. A meeting does not mean I agree with his policies in any way, but I hope he walked away knowing a little more about ours."

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports

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