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Brookline police chief steps down but will remain in department

Then-Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lipson (left) with his predecessor as Brookline Police Chief Daniel O'Leary, in 2016. Lipson announced Friday that he would resign the role of chief and return to his former position.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/David L Ryan, Globe Staff

Brookline’s police chief announced his resignation Friday, saying that for unspecified reasons it is “untenable” for him to continue to lead the department, and he will return to his previous position of deputy superintendent.

Andrew Lipson joins chiefs in Revere, Newton, Framingham, and elsewhere who have abruptly stepped down in recent weeks amid demands for police reforms. Lipson informed Brookline’s town administrator and Selectboard of his resignation in a letter Friday, giving 60 days’ notice.

Lipson, a 22-year veteran of the department, expressed gratitude for public support amid recent calls to defund police departments and said he was honored to have led “a group of men and women of whom the overwhelming majority do a difficult job with honor, integrity and professionalism.”

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“I have full confidence that the women and men of the Brookline Police Department will continue to rise to the challenge of this moment in history as we have so many times before,” he said.

Lipson could not be reached for further comment Friday night.

Chiuba E. Obele, a 29-year-old Brookline resident who is part of an activist group pushing to defund the Brookline police, was glad to learn that Lipson had resigned but said the issue goes much deeper than any one individual.

“This is institutional racism that we’re dealing with,” said Obele, who last month filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that Brookline police racially profiled him. “We’re not just asking for one guy to quit. We want the whole system to change. This is a good first step. We’d like to see more from the town.”


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.