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Hayden says grand jury will investigate incident involving off-duty MBTA officer

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden says a grand jury will investigate the case of a transit police officer accused of pointing a gun at a motorist.

The case has raised questions about how Hayden's office has handled the matter and has prompted calls for Hayden's resignation.

In a statement Wednesday, Hayden's office said the grand jury will review the incident, during which off-duty MBTA officer Jacob Green, who is white, allegedly pointed a gun at a black motorist during an altercation in April of last year. Green and another officer are accused of trying to cover up the incident.

Hayden's announcement follows a Boston Globe report that said prosecutors in Hayden's office told Green's attorney at the time that the office was going to drop the case. Green's attorney, Robert Griffin, told WBUR Wednesday that he is no longer representing Green because now he is a potential grand jury witness. He said he could not comment further.

The Globe reported that transit police asked former Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins to investigate the matterand she appointed an investigator in 2021, before she left to become Massachusetts' U.S. Attorney. In January, Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Hayden to serve the rest of Rollins' term, and Hayden is now seeking re-election.

“Our office inherited this investigation, along with many others, from the prior administration," the statement said. "This case has remained open and active because I never had any intention of closing it, or made any decision to close it."

Hayden's statement said he would not jeopardize the "office's integrity by not pursuing charges because the suspect is a police officer. "

Ricardo Arroyo, Hayden's opponent in the September primary, has called on Hayden to resign, as have some Boston city councilors and officials in Suffolk County. Hayden says he stands by how his office has investigated the case.

"I understand that today’s announcement will be perceived as a reaction to media reports. I cannot control perceptions," Hayden said. "But I can assure everyone that this action would be happening on the same timeline regardless of what attention this investigation did or didn’t attract."

Earlier this week, Hayden that also said that he has returned $225 in donations from Griffin and officer Green. Hayden said once he became aware of the donations, he felt they should be returned because of the ongoing investigation.

Green is expected to resign from the transit police next month and the colleague accused of helping him cover up the incident has been fired, according to lawyers and the Globe.

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Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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