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Police unions protest Black Lives Matter banner at Somerville City Hall

WBZ reports on the protest. There was also a protest in support of Black Lives Matter.

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I wish people would realize that the two movements are not mutually exclusive.

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Black lives and undocumented lives matter!

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Damn alarm clock woke him up.

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Thanks to the Somerville police for making it clear that you don't think that black lives matter. I'm sure this will win you a lot of support with the public, you tone-deaf assholes.

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It's not clear that the head of the union spoke for *anyone* other than himself.

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Agree with Ron. As always the police are not a monolithic block. There are many that believe in community policing and maintaining good relationships with immigrants and the black community. And there are some that are as racist as you will find in the general populace. My experience with Somerville PD is that they seem fairly decent (said the white guy).

(And Good for Joey Cupcakes! Those are some big balls he's putting out there -- no doubt there's a line of folks who want to kick them. Anyone have the odds on what position he'll be running for? Capuano's seat? Governor?)

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The Somerville Police do support BLM. It's the Police Union that does not. I don't know why the union feels the need to inject themselves into a matter that everyone agrees on in Somerville.

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I can only go by what I've heard and seen -
Somerville's police chief supports the mayor and other officers stated they were not consulted before one officer wrote that letter to Curatone. Of note, a Remberance banner was installed at the Somerville police station in honor of fallen officers.

A total of supposedly about four Somerville officers participated in the protest and a smattering of Cambridge/Boston & other out-of-town cops & others there in support of them. There was no yelling & conversations among police & BLM protesters were civil.

To me, there's nothing much to sink one's teeth into here especially for those trying to broad brush stroke the City, local BLM, residents, or the city's police force in a particular light. The city has its problems as does the country; hence the existence of BLM.

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Why can't everyone just agree that everyone matters no matter the color of their skin? Cops didn't sign up to be in a gang to kill people, they signed up to serve and protect the community. However we have people who join gangs and expect violence and then have huge outcries after these people get killed, even if they have killed others.

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Sorry. Just to recap, exactly which of the headline stories over the past year wherein a cop shot an unarmed black person involved a known gang member? I must be blanking on this one.

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You say: "Why can't everyone just agree that everyone matters no matter the color of their skin?"

Beautiful goal, simply not reality for many many people of color.

then you say: "we have people who join gangs and expect violence and then have huge outcries after these people get killed, even if they have killed others.

How are you connecting people in gangs "who expect violence" to the BLM sign or movement. Seems like a huge leap for someone who just claimed everyone matters. Some people are concerned that some cops make the same leap. Black person = gang member who expects violence.

You skipped the part where none of the black men (being remembered by BLM) killed by cops were gang members.

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and inept and probably severely uneducated. Black lives matter isn't about gang members..it's about the inappropriate and systematic homicide of colored people while the abuse of authority and power by police goes on without proper justice. READ A MF BOOK! If cops were serving and protecting, they wouldn't need to be killing unarmed black men. Fear of the black planet is what's causing them to scratch the itch on their trigger fingers

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As a cop myself, serving in Boston where we actually have a fairly large black population, please don't lump us all with this bafoon.

This one union president doesn't speak for me.

- a Boston Cop

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Thanks for your service. Actually I've been using the Boston cops in a lot of arguments lately about how it's obviously possible to do police work in very poor neighborhoods with a lot of gun violence without killing unarmed civilians. Please keep up the good work and make sure that all of your fellow officers know how much we appreciate it.

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I've also been pointing out how Boston police have been exempt from the trigger-happy cop syndrome. Not only do they not shoot unarmed suspects, they almost always manage to arrest armed ones without shooting them. This is exemplary behavior, and indicates extremely high levels of training and competence. Boston should be proud of its police force, and other cities' law enforcement management should be trying to learn from them.

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about the Somerville PD protest. Was there some incident in Somerville involving the cops hurting/harassing/shooting an innocent black person? To my knowledge they have been doing a great job and there is no reason why anyone would be attacking them or their integrity. Someone correct me if I am wrong. City Hall simply wants to show support for what boils down to a civil rights movement and this is how the cops respond? Then they wonder why people hate them or don't trust them? This does nothing but make you look bad SPD!

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BPD typically know the neighborhoods and are familiar with many people they encounter. That's a huge part of the whole community policing philosophy. NYC, for example, only requires residency after employment. Which, quite frankly, is not effective. I don't care how much training someone has had, a kid from Scarsdale will not be effective patrolling the streets of Brownsville.

In regards to BLM, I have to admit that I was quite disgusted by their outburst at the DNC last night. It's things like that which make it so divisive between different groups.

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Boston also requires residency after being hired.

https://www.boston.gov/departments/human-resources/residency-requirement...

So you're saying only black police officers would know how to patrol black neighborhoods? Should only white officers patrol white neighborhoods?

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What I inferred was the poster was saying Boston requires you to be a Boston resident prior to even applying, with the point of this being you actually know some of the neighborhoods before your first day on the job. Whereas NYC only requires this after you are hired. I am not sure if it was a black vs. white thing, as white people can live in "black" neighborhoods. It helps to know the community you are policing.

That said, I don't think that is accurate.

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That is what I'm saying. I'm not sure how bosguy interpreted it the way he did.

What don't you find accurate? It's not a racial thing. Take Dorchester, for example. Melting pot of a neighborhood, right? Black, White, Asian and Latino all represented. That being said, many people reach across the aisle and interact with many people of different races from different neighborhoods starting as children. My point being that a white cop is familiar with a "black" neighborhood because he likely has experience in that neighborhood and with the people that live there.

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I am saying I do not think Boston requires applicants to already be residents, per the link posted. I confused things by plugging in the "I am not sure..." bit after I had typed everything else. Obviously that should have been at the end. Sorry about that.

I said nothing about whether I agree about living part of your life in the community prior to policing is good or bad. On its face, yes, I'd imagine it's great that they know the area, the people, and what the residents go through. They'd have to do a good job vetting the people though, because being entrenched within a community you will one day police isn't always the best for the community. Humans gonna human and play favorites; familiarity breeds contempt and all that. Communities do not get stronger through policing when those in charge are favoring certain people, classes, races, etc., as some are wont to do.

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You had to reach far to make that connection.

What I got from the post: Cops from the city better understand folks in the city.

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and yet he chose two very specific places.
Scarsdale is 84% white, 13% Asian, 3% black or brown
Brownsville is 76% black, 21% Hispanic, and 0.3% white or Asian.

The comment sure seems to be about race and class, not about neighborhood. Otherwise he could have just as easily chosen White Plains as his suburb or the Upper East Side as his city neighborhood.

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trying to find racism in everything and going out of your way to be offended.

I used an example with the two areas that came to mind first. Sorry, I don't have time to check the demographics on wikipedia before I post. The point is people who know and are familiar with the city and the people in it can be effective police.

So, don't tell me what I'm thinking and, go fuck yourself.

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Of course, finding excuses for what you just feel in your heart must be true at every opportunity takes very little effort compared to thinking when facts about race and racism are presented.

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A. Stop trolling me. It's become obsessive.

B. Your reading comprehension sucks. My post had nothing to do with race, it has to do with PEOPLE FROM THE CITY MAKE BETTER POLICE IN THE CITY THAN PEOPLE FROM SUBURBS. Jesus fucking Christ, is that clear enough for you? If you want to generalize and say black = city and white = suburbs, that's your deal and you'd be wrong.

C. Why am I even explaining this too you? Why do you have anything to say about anything in Boston? Didn't you learn your lesson after you voiced your stupid opinion on BLS and had absolutely zero clue how BPS works? My suspicion is that you have the same amount of knowledge on city policing.

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You have my sympathy, truly. It is a damn shame to have your name and your cause hijacked by a professional time-server like this jackass. I hope you speak up about this in other places than uhub.

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Should be formally reprimanded and assigned retraining.

Thinking that black lives don't matter disqualifies a person from being a police officer.

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Supporters keep telling us that "black lives matter" does not mean only black lives matter, but here you are telling us exactly that.

It should be possible to reject BLM without that translating into black lives don't matter at all.

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With all due respect, you seem confused. Black Lives Matter is pointing out the fact that black lives are currently not treated as though they matter as much as the lives of other people. It is a plea for equality. Rejecting the BLM movement means that you either disagree that black people are killed by law enforcement at a much higher rate (the statistics will not support you in that argument) or that you are ok with the way that things are now.

This reddit post does a much better job explaining than I ever could and I wish everybody would read it:
https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/3du1qm/eli5_why_is_i...

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Well, isn't the point that continued cases of unarmed, more often than not innocent, black citizens are getting beaten, shot and/or killed by the police with no repercussions which is demonstrating that in this country, in the eyes of too many in law enforcement, black lives do NOT matter. That is why people are standing up and refuting this implied statement with a direct one of Black Lives Matter.

If actions on the ground demonstrated that all lives DID matter, then BLM would not be needed. If you are rejecting BLM you are accepting the status quo, you are accepting all these unjust murders on the part of bad cops.

Edit: didn't mean to beat a dead horse -- ZachandTired was quicker on the draw.

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Are you serious , the OFF DUTY officers should be reprimanded for exercising their first amendment rights? Sounds like a law suit to me if an employer wanted to infringe on employee for participating in a legal demonstration by exercising their constitutional rights on their own time.

By the way the 70th law enforcement death this year in this country occurred last night when an officer was gunned down and another was shot in San Diego.

God bless these officers.

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But their employer can decide, from observing their actions, that they need more training because their protest proves their ignorance, insensitivity or actual color bias, all of which are potentially dangerous to the public. A reprimand strikes me as inappropriate and unlikely to address the problem, but education is necessary. And citizens should be protected from these either clueless or racist officers. At least they are making themselves easy to identify.

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The nature of their profession dictates that they can't just say whatever they please in public.

Not that anyone could possibly have a problem with, after centuries of vicious oppression and marginalization, black people would stand up and say, you know, Black lives actually matter. (Unless of course, you think they don't)

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The First Amendment guarantees your right to speak freely. No one is stopping them from doing that. It does not guarantee you the right to do so without consequences. It is perfectly legal for an employer to decide that your free exercise of your First Amendment rights is an embarrassment to them and that they no longer wish to employ you (and, in fact, I know employers who have terminated employees for that very reason).

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do not cover employer-employee relationships, but it isn't just that simple in this case.

The courts have held that employees do have the right to discuss working conditions, and it would be fairly easy to argue that the City's display of a BLM banner has an effect on the workplace when one considers the individuals who have used BLM as partial inspiration for assassinating police officers. Moreover, the Somerville police officers are government employees and the Supreme Court has held that public employees do have the right to speak on matters of public concern (as long as they do not lie) without fear of reprimand.

And in any event, their membership in the local police union also gives them quite a bit of insulation against politically-motivated reeducation or termination.

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The First Amendment protects our right to speak. It does not give us a magical free pass to speak without consequences.

Go ahead and identify yourself and your employer and say something racist if you don't believe me. Nobody will stop you, but your employer won't appreciate having its name dragged through the mud.

These officers have indicated that they don't meet the standards of our community. I give them the benefit of assuming they are educable. As is they demean if not endanger themselves, the public, and their fellow officers.

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As refreshing as it is to see Police unions explicitly admit that they don't care about black lives, I really wish they would just shut the fuck up and do their fucking jobs.

EDIT: And props to the cop above and all the rest (the majority, I'd imagine), who do their jobs well.

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Cops care about all lives, not just black lives. Or, if you want it your way, they don't care about any lives, not just black lives. Or, most likely, they just don't want a bunch of race hustlers inciting the entire black community to hate and/or murder them over this mythical "open season on young black males."

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