By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is defending a post on his Facebook page criticizing the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU is part of a lawsuit that’s designed to force Boston Police to release information about the department’s gang database.

Last week the commissioner sent out a Facebook post on his private account criticizing the ACLU calling them “paper warriors,” claiming they’re focusing more on lawsuits than helping police fight crime.

Talking to reporters Tuesday, Gross said the post has been taken out of context by some and he wishes that people who criticize the police department could walk a mile in their shoes when it comes to combating crime and gang violence.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross. (WBZ-TV)

Gross also said he has no issue working with the ACLU.

“I was simply on my Facebook page talking to my friends saying, ‘Don’t get dejected. You can sue us all day. Don’t get dejected. Your voices will be heard,’” Gross said.

“The ACLU has a job to do. I certainly support what their job is. I also support the work of the commissioner and the police department,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who promoted Gross as the city’s first black police commissioner.

The ACLU released a statement over the weekend saying, “Commissioner Gross’ accusations appear to be nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the serious issues raised by an ACLU lawsuit.”

The commissioner was asked Tuesday if he had spoken to the ACLU since he published the Facebook post. He says he has not spoken to them yet, but plans to reach out to them soon.

Paul Burton