(CNN) Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has been removed from his position as top cop, the city’s mayor announced Wednesday.
Batts drew widespread criticism for his response to riots that erupted after the April death of Freddie Gray, a young black man in police custody.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis will become interim commissioner, according to a statement from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The move came as the city’s police union said in a report that the riots were preventable and fueled by the “passive stance” adopted by Batts and top commanders.
Claiming police brass “put the image of themselves and City Hall ahead of the safety of its citizens and public servants,” the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 released its report on the same day that the law enforcement advocacy group Police Executive Research Forum began its own review of the riot response, a review requested by Batts.
City and police officials have repeatedly denied that any stand-down order was given in response to the demonstrations after Gray’s death April 19.