Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins and six top police commanders say they are jointly searching for “profound, immediate and lasting change” to the way both police and prosecutors administer justice, in the wake of the recent national outcry over police brutality and racial inequality.
Rollins released a statement Tuesday on behalf of herself and the commanders: State Police Colonel Christopher Mason and MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green, and the leaders of the four municipal police departments in Suffolk County, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Winthrop Police Chief Terence M. Delehanty and Revere Police Chief David Callahan.
“We hope to move the dial in a positive direction in terms of promoting and enhancing trust and confidence and a renewed spirit of cooperation with every neighborhood within Suffolk County, and particularly those that come into contact most frequently with law enforcement,‘' the officials said.
Rollins said she met with all the officials except Gross, who had a prior commitment, at the Parkman House Thursday.
An initial outline of ideas was developed during the meeting. The statement said those ideas included:
- “Building and improving positive community relations with the police”
- “Practicing fair and impartial policing strategies”
- “Ensuring applications of procedural justice in all interactions with members of the public”
- “Ensuring racial and social justice as well as equality for all in the realms of the entire criminal justice system in Suffolk County”
Future meetings are planned of what Rollins said is now being called the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Leadership Group.
In recent weeks, following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans, protests have erupted worldwide calling for an end to both police violence and, more broadly, systemic racism.
Rollins and the officials said in the statement, “The group agreed that there is much work to be done in order to prevent and ensure that these heartbreaking incidents never happen in our Commonwealth and for the greater community to be allowed to heal as well.”