A former Black cop who was severely beaten by fellow Boston officers over 25 years ago when they mistook him for a shooting suspect has now been appointed as the city's police department head, AP reports.
On Wednesday (July 13), Mayor Michelle Wu announced that former police officer Michael Cox would serve as Boston Police Department's newest leader beginning next month.
With his new role as police commissioner, Cox pledged to diversify the department and ensure the officers within it feel supported.
“I think this is a very exciting time. I think the officers need someone to support them,” Cox said in a statement on Wednesday. “And I’m going to their biggest cheerleader.”
Cox initially joined the Boston Police Department in 1989, quickly rising through the ranks.
While working undercover in plainclothes, the former police officer was mistakenly beaten to the ground and left bloody by his colleagues who believed he was a suspect in a fatal shooting.
Cox noted that the 1995 beating was a "tough time," but he chose to continue doing the job he loved and stay in the department to make improvements.
“Since then, in 1995, I have dedicated my life to making sure that both the Boston police department and policing, in general, has grown and learned ... to make sure that we have structures and mechanisms in place to make sure that we never repeat that kind of incident against anyone,” Cox told reporters.