The Boston Police Department this week will interview the superior officers who oversaw Detective Jerome Hall-Brewster, who was demoted in relation to the Amy Lord murder case, and appropriate discipline will be handed down if it’s warranted, Commissioner Edward F. Davis said.
“I’m in the process of looking at his superiors,” Davis told The Boston Globe Thursday, adding that the superior officers in question were out on vacation until earlier this week. “There will be appropriate discipline vetted out at the appropriate time.”
Hall-Brewster was demoted and publicly disciplined last week after an internal investigation determined that he failed to follow up on a September 2012 assault on a woman in Roxbury. The suspect in that assault, Edwin Alemany, is facing charges in the July 23 abduction and murder of 24-year-old Amy Lord.
The demotion came after an internal affairs investigation found that Hall-Brewster incorrectly concluded he lacked probable cause to arrest Alemany in the 2012 case despite Alemany’s wallet being found at the site of the attack.
The Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, which has been calling for Davis to resign over the department’s lack of diversity, alleges that the demotion is an example of a black officer being disciplined while his white superiors were not.
“Commissioner Davis’s actions in front of a crowd in South Boston have only made things worse in communities that already have a somewhat strained relationship when it comes to race,” said Larry Ellison, MAMLEO president, at a news conference blasting the commissioner on Wednesday. “The message is clear: Separate and unequal.”
Davis, however, insisted Thursday that he did not know Hall-Brewster was black until after making the decision to demote him and that race played no factor in the decision.
“This was an atrocious case as far as the outcome of the nonfeasance on the part of Detective Hall-Brewster,” Davis said. “I ordered my investigative staff to speak to him directly and his answers were not sufficient to me.”
An attorney for Hall-Brewster has said that he does not believe that the former detective or his supervisors were negligent.