Gross backs Essaibi George for Mayor during visit to Mattapan Square

Former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, left, and At-Large City Councillor Annissa Essaibi George walked along Blue Hill Avenue on Thurs., May 13. Mia McCarthy photo

Former Boston Police Commissioner endorses Annissa Essaibi George for Mayor
By Mia McCarthy, Correspondent

Former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross endorsed at-Large City Councillor Annissa Essaibi George for Mayor during an event in Mattapan on Thursday afternoon. Gross, who resigned as the city’s first Black police chief in February, called it “an easy decision.”

“This is the person that I wholeheartedly believe, can bring the city together, or make it more cohesive and make Boston what it is today and continue to make it number one in the country,” Gross said.

Gross, who entertained a potential candidacy of his own for mayor in January, made his announcement during a visit to Brother’s Deli in Mattapan. He said he supports Essaibi George because of her work in every neighborhood.

“I'm very proud today to be here with Commissioner Gross, and to talk about the future of our city and continue the work that I started on the council,'' said Essaibi George, who lives in Dorchester. “Work to making sure that we have a safe and flourishing and booming Boston and in which all of our residents can have full opportunity and education and safety. “

Gross added he picked Essaibi George because of her fair accountability of police and her relationship with the Boston Police Department. He said she regularly calls or sends a text when an officer or first responder is injured— or when there’s a police involved incident in the city.

“We need folks that are actually out in the street,”Gross said. “ I've seen other folks that are city councilors at large, I never see them in this neighborhood or any neighbourhoods that look like this. This lady goes to every neighborhood and this is a time where we should be having conversations and bringing our entire city together.”

“She sets herself aside by holding the police department accountable but being fair about it,” Gross said. “Again, there's a lot of anti-police sentiment and some people take advantage of that.”

Both Gross and Essaibi George also commented on the ongoing investigation of Police Commissioner Dennis White following the revelation of domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife 21 years ago.

“We are anxiously awaiting myself and other members of the City Council for the investigation to wrap up with Commissioner White and we look forward to those results and discussing them very publicly,” Essaibi George said. “We need to make sure that we are doing this work as elected leaders in the public space and the public views.”

Gross called the ongoing suspension of White— his former lieutenant whom he recommended as his successor— a “travesty.”

“Why is this man police on administrative leave when a judge decided on that 21 years ago?” Gross said. “His ex-wife, I have nothing bad to say about her every time we meet or see each other is very cordial, I know her. It's just been a travesty that you bring that whole family up over an allegation.”

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