The Latest: Police rally against Black Lives Matter banner


SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) — The Latest on police complaints about a Black Lives Matter banner posted at City Hall in a Boston suburb (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

About 50 police officers and their supporters have rallied to complain about a Black Lives Matter banner hanging outside a suburban Boston city hall.

A coalition representing 1,500 officers in 26 communities says a public building like Somerville’s City Hall is “no place” for political slogans.

The mayor of the largely white city is promising not to remove the banner despite complaints from officers all across the state. Mayor Joe Curtatone is a white Democrat. He says the only way to resolve the impasse is through an “open dialogue” about race. But he insists, “That sign is not coming down.”

Most of the police officers and their supporters seeking to remove the banner are white men.

The local police officers union says they’re considering their next steps. It says they support the “core goal” of the Black Lives Matter movement but believe the banner sends an “exclusionary message.”

___

5 p.m.

The mayor of a largely white Boston suburb is promising not to remove a Black Lives Matter banner from City Hall despite complaints from police officers all across the state.

Police officers upset by the mayor of Somerville plan to hold a Thursday evening rally. Somerville Police Employees Association president Michael McGrath says his officers support the “core goal” of the Black Lives Matter movement but believe the banner sends an “exclusionary message” and is disrespectful to officers.

Mayor Joe Curtatone is a white Democrat. He says it’s “OK to disagree” and the only way to resolve the impasse is through an “open dialogue” about race.

The mayor spoke Thursday in front of City Hall while flanked by the police chief and two deputy chiefs. He insists, “That sign is not coming down.”

He suggests opposition to the banner isn’t shared by all police officers.

___

12:45 a.m.

Police in Massachusetts are protesting a mayor’s refusal to remove a Black Lives Matter banner that’s hanging over city hall.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone has declined repeated requests by the city police officers’ union to replace the banner with one that reads “All Lives Matter.” The banner has been up for nearly a year.

Union president Michael McGrath says the union supports the “core goal” of the Black Lives Matter movement, but believes the current banner sends an “exclusionary message” and is “disrespectful” to officers. He says union members and other officers from around the state will hold a rally Thursday evening.

The Democratic mayor says standing up for black residents and supporting police aren’t mutually exclusive. He notes the city also honors officers recently slain in Texas and Louisiana with a banner over police headquarters.

comments powered by Disqus