LAWRENCE — Veteran Police Officer William Green has returned to work after a suspension and leave lasting four months, surviving Mayor Daniel Rivera’s attempt to fire him and his arrest at his home on the suspicion he was calling police headquarters threatening to kill cops.
Green’s unpaid three-month suspension for pocketing the city’s share of his pay for nightclub details he worked ended May 19, but he was kept off the force for another five weeks for reasons Police Chief John Fitzpatrick would not discuss, citing personnel policy.
On April 15, two months into his suspension, Green, who is Latino, attended a City Council meeting to allege “systemic racial discrimination in our Police Department.” He said the department keeps blacks and Latinos from moving up the ranks or serving as detectives and in the special units. Acting Police Chief John Fitzpatrick asked state Attorney General Martha Coakley to investigate the allegations.
Green posted a video of his statement to the council on the Internet site YouTube. He also posted a second video alleging that another police officer did not receive the discipline he deserved last year when he failed to report shooting a man who allegedly drove his car into vehicles driven by police investigating a noise complaint. Green does not name the second officer, John Tully, identifying him only as a “white cop.”
On June 20, after his suspension had ended but while he was still blocked from returning to work, Green was arrested at his city home when another officer who answered some of the threatening phone calls to headquarters said he believed the voice was Green’s.
He was taken to a state police barracks for questioning and released after about an hour. Another suspect has been charged with making the calls, but his name was not available yesterday. The calls were made over six days.