The mayor in Sommerville, MA is currently in conflict with the local police union after denying their request to remove a Black Lives Matter sign from city hall that’s been there for almost a year.
According to USA Today, The Somerville Police Employee’s Association published a letter asking Mayor Joseph Curtatone to take down the sign “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.”
Curtatone reportedly has a history of both working closely with local authorities while also making the safety and comfort of local residents a personal mission.
“My unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment addressing systemic racism in our nation,” Curtatone said in a statement. “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.”
While Michael McGrath, the union’s president, may want the sign to be taken down, he doesn’t speak for all police officers in the area as Somerville Police Chief David Fallon said that he was “100% behind it” in regards to Curtatone’s decision to leave the sign hanging.
Been bombarded w/ thank yous for standing w/ #BlackLivesMatter Most folks get that respect for minorities & respect for police go together.
— Joseph A. Curtatone (@JoeCurtatone) July 21, 2016
Photo Courtesy: Wiki Commons