• ACLU, mayor react after Boston Police Commissioner's Facebook post about lawsuit

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    A lawsuit filed against Boston Police had the police commissioner voicing his opinion on his personal Facebook.

    Now, both Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and the ACLU are talking about the ongoing controversy. Both sides say they're planning to sit down. 

    "I was simply on my Facebook page talking to my friends saying, 'Don't get dejected. You can sue us all day. Don't get dejected. Your voices will heard,'" Gross said Tuesday morning while taking questions on his Facebook post during an event for youth programs.

    The ACLU says it filed the lawsuit with other agencies because Boston Police would not release information about their gang database after they submitted records requests.

    "People can be the subject of an unlawful stop because their name is included in the gang database. People can be deported because of the allegation they are in a gang database," said Rahsaan Hall of ACLU Massachusetts.

    RELATED: BPD's Gross sworn in as police commissioner, making history

    On his Facebook post, Gross posted that the ACLU should walk in his officers' shoes, saying "They are never in the streets but always hiding and waiting for a slow news day."

    "I sure as hell didn't see the ACLU in El Salvador working to find solution to our youth being inducted into the MS-13 Gang," the Facebook post read, adding, "Despite the paper warriors, we'll continue to do our jobs."

    On Tuesday, Gross said he was trying to show the side of law enforcement. 

    "Pretty much saying this: 'Can you walk a mile in our shoes? Can you walk a couple of steps? Just hear our voice too,'" Gross said. 

    Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he supports what the police commissioner wrote, and is proud of the city's transparency at all levels. 

    "We are not going to close those doors, we will never will," Walsh said. "I think there's ways of getting to a resolution and ways of getting information. I don't think everyone has to sue."

    Hall, of the ACLU, said the group defends civil liberties. 

    "The ACLU is a law reform organization. We advocate in the courts and in the legislature and in the communities to defend everyone and their civil rights and civil liberties," Hall said.

    It's unclear why the requested records were not released or if they were protected in some way from being released.

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