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Boston has appointed William G. Gross as its next police commissioner, a move that will make him the first African-American to hold the top law police position in the city’s history, the Boston Globe reported on Monday.

Gross, currently the Boston Police Department’s second in command, was expected to officially replace retiring Commissioner William B. Evans on Aug. 6.

Boston has a rich history of racism, especially against Black people, making Gross’ appointment all the more significant as the city and nation deal with what’s appeared to be a surge of white nationalism. It was the combination of those two factors that led Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che to now-famously call Boston America’s “most racist city.”

“I’m a true street cop,” Gross said when he was introduced as Boston’s new police commissioner. He recalled the dangers of working as a patrol officer in the 1980s, at the height of the crack epidemic and the wave of violent gang activity that swept the nation.

“If you want change, be the change. That’s why I became a police officer,” Gross added.

Indeed, Boston’s new police chief worked his way up the ladder in his 33-year career in the department, from street cop to the top rung, his LinkedIn page shows. His career includes more than two years in an anti-gang violence unit in Dorchester and Roxbury, as well as fighting crime in a drug control unit. Gross later worked as a Boston Police Academy instructor in the professional development section.

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William Gross Becomes Boston’s First Black Police Commissioner was originally published on

5 thoughts on “William Gross Becomes Boston’s First Black Police Commissioner

  1. He has played his dues–and then some. I don’t think this is a black/white thing. He’s the best guy for the job. It would be an egregious oversight had Mr. Gross not been appointed by Mayor Walsh. Seems like a great guy and clearly the best choice for this position. – (from Mark, a middle aged white guy)

  2. Passing Through!! on said:

    I’m always on the fence when black people are promoted to certain positions. Often when blacks are promoted to prominent positions they’re really just a black face for diversity purposes but are puppeteered by the white man. We’ll see what side Commissioner Gross is on when some unarmed innocent black person is shot and killed by the police.

  3. Mac Daddy on said:

    Where do we go on this one Peeps? Congratulate a black man for a deserved promotion or the plantation response of “Fock the po-po”?

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