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Boston’s new police commissioner to be sworn in Monday

BOSTON — The City of Boston will have a new top cop effective Monday morning. Michael Cox will be sworn in as commissioner during a ceremony on City Hall Plaza. Cox will be sworn in by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu who selected him as police commissioner in July.

Cox served on Boston’s police force for 30 years, working in nearly every bureau. He left in 2019 to become the chief of police in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 1995, when he was working undercover in Boston, he was severely beaten by his fellow police officers, after they mistook him for a murder suspect.

The department reportedly tried to cover it up, but Cox filed a civil rights lawsuit and won. One of the officers who beat Cox is still on the force today.

“After this incident happened, I had a choice to either leave or stay. I chose to stay because I believe in policing in kind of a community-friendly way,” Cox said during the news conference announcing his appointment, in response to questions about the 1995 beating.

Cox’s tenure in Ann Arbor was not without controversy.

25 Investigates reviewed paperwork from an investigation where Cox was briefly placed on leave there. A lieutenant complained that Cox tried to discourage her from investigating a parking clerk who had been fixing tickets for his girlfriend. Cox admits he could have handled the situation differently. An investigation found he did not break any department policies.

“It was kind of an awkward situation for him and a regrettable one, I believe,” said Ann Arbor City Councilmember Ali Ramwali, who worked closely with Cox. “I think it set us back a little bit. The city had to put the police chief on administrative leave and besmirch his perfect record.”d

The police commissioner selection committee and community leaders were at the announcement in July naming Cox as commissioner. Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis was on the search team.

“A superior intellect and somebody who came from the neighborhoods who knows everybody,” said Davis.

Dorchester community leader Eugene Rivers also shared some insight.

“He is an excellent choice as a function of temperament, very mellow, not easily ruffled, and he is smart,” said Rivers.

The park where the announcement of his appointment was made in July is in the shadow of where he grew up.

“I do consider this a homecoming,” Cox said at the time. “I wish my mother was still alive to see it. I grew up in the house on the corner, and I did spend a lot of time in this park growing up,” said Cox.

Cox said some initial strategies will include highlighting good work, using accountability to the fullest, doing things differently, relying on community feedback, and servicing the citizens of Boston well.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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