After years of enduring the bigoted prose of their own union newsletter, members of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO) now have their own publication. Starting this week, officers of color — many of whom say they have been denied a voice in the Pax Centurion by the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association (BPPA) — will publish a regular newsletter to demand diversity in Hub power structures.
On Sunday night, the paper was distributed for the first time to about 40 people gathered at the Global Ministries Church in Dorchester. The evening's panel discussion focused on an open letter MAMLEO issued to Mayor Tom Menino last week — commending his stance against Chik-Fil-A before listing a slew of discriminatory practices "allowed to exist in the city during [Menino's] reign."
"The environment here at the Boston PD and in the fire department is one that embraces discrimination," said Willie H. Bradley, former BPD deputy superintendent. His suggestion earned one of few bouts of applause: "You change the environment by changing the mayor."
Though MAMLEO has been engaged in a lengthy battle with Pax editors, the struggle of minority officers was made very public in late June, when Occupy Boston–related activists joined the fight. Since then, the union's incendiary newsletter and shady business practices have come under increased scrutiny.
At the meeting, Mattapan City Councillor Charles Yancey suggested the formation of a civilian review board that could bring formal complaints against officials.
"Without having an independent, objective, professional system of accountability," said Yancey, "we're going to continue to repeat many of the abuses that have occurred already in the Boston Police Department."
: This Just In
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