By Michele McPhee
Somerville Mayor Joe Curatone said that the Black Lives Matter banner, which his city’s police union told him in a letter that they found “deeply troubling” will remain hanging over the entrance of City Hall.
“My unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment to addressing systemic racism in our nation. The City of Somerville stands against all violence and all injustice, which is why a Black Lives Matter banner hangs at City Hall and why a banner in honor of the slain officers is hanging at Somerville Police Headquarters where it would provide the most moral support to our officers—both on my order. Both banners will remain hanging,” Curatone said in a statement.
“Violence is never justified, and that is the message that both of our banners— for Black Lives Matter and for the slain officers—are intended to make.”
Somerville Police union president Mike McGrath sent a letter to Curatone yesterday requesting that the Black Lives Matter banner hung over City Hall last August be replaced with All Lives Matter.
“The Somerville Police Employees Association and its members are deeply troubled that the City continues to display the Black Lives Matter banner above the main entrance of City Hall. It is as inconceivable to us as it is demoralizing that our City would propagate its support for this movement while standing silent over the seemingly daily protest assassinations of innocent police officers around the country,” union President Mike McGrath wrote. “…. the removal of that banner and the placement of a banner stating ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ would reflect appropriate concerns that police officers everywhere, as they do in Somerville, use deadly force only when necessary.”
By Michele McPhee