Both Mayor Walsh and Police Commissioner William Gross today tore into elected city officials for their comments on, in Walsh's case, the Boston Resiliency Fund and, in Gross's case, what he said were BPD efforts to fight violent crime.
Walsh did not identify Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) at a City Hall press conference, but he referred to Wu's comments earlier in the day about the way the Resiliency Fund is run - and who had earlier criticized the way Walsh set up a separate fund to address racial inequities in the city, calling it "a squandering of municipal power that will compete with a community-led effort created by Black and brown business leaders."
"They better find a better issue than that to run for higher office," he said of Wu, who has been named as a possible contender for his job.
"When I hear people talk about how it's not effective, they should take a little bit of their time to learn about why the fund was set up and what the intention of the fund was and maybe help us get some money for the fund rather than Monday-morning quarterback on a radio show when they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to the Resiliency Fund," Walsh fumed.
Walsh said the fund has raised $33 million to fund efforts by local organizations to help residents survive Covid-19, from programs to boost testing and promote health efforts in minority neighborhoods to meal programs to buying Chromebooks so BPS students can keep learning. Some 53% of the programs are led by minority residents, he said, adding the other official should maybe consider helping to increase fundraising for the fund, instead of criticizing it.
Gross's comments were possibly aimed at City Councilor Andrea Campbell (Dorchester), who chairs the council's public-safety committee, who has also been mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate and who has tangled with Gross over a couple of issues of late - the department's reaction to a protest march past the D-4 police station and Gross's posing for a photo with William Barr.
After vowing to catch the "cowards" responsible for a recent series of shootings and murder, most recently of a convenience-store clerk on Shawmut Avenue in Roxbury on Tuesday, Gross said residents of minority neighborhoods need to continue to stick together, feed tips to police and not listen to naysayers.
"This is time for us to stick together," he said. "Forget the critics, they're never in the street, anyway, they're just talk."
Gross also tore into judges he said are releasing people who shouldn't be released. He said a recent shooting suspect had been arrested four days earlier on a gun charge, and had cut off his GPS ankle bracelet before shooting again.
"I only hope that the judicial process is listening," and stops letting people arrested on gun charges out on bail and with GPS devices, he said. He added that's especially important now, because people on the street feel they can get away with anything because courtrooms remain shut and grand juries are not hearing cases.