In August 2015 the City of Somerville hung a Black Lives Matter banner outside City Hall in support of the movement bringing attention to the police killings of several young black men across the country. Almost a year after that banner went up, Somerville Police Association President Michael McGrath wrote an open letter to Mayor Joseph Curtatone asking that the banner be removed in support of police following the recent killing of officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas. The City had already hung a banner at Police Headquarters in commemoration of the fallen officers and in support of all police. Mayor Curtatone’s response was swift and unyielding stating that both banners will remain. “Both banners hang for the same reason,” the Mayor said at a press conference, “too many people have died.” Curtatone emphasized the need for conversations about race and policing in every community. Two days later rallies occurred in Union Square sponsored by the Cambridge Black Lives Matter organization and at City Hall the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition held a rally in support of police and Mr. McGrath’s request. Local activists and officials want to continue the conversation on race, racism and community relations going forward. Somerville Neighborhood News was at all the events and brings you several stories from the week.
Somerville Neighborhood News is a production of Somerville Community Access Television, made by professional journalists, volunteers and staff. The half-hour news show has as its mission to provide a lively, informative newscast focusing on the events, issues and information impacting Somerville residents.