BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Demonstrators took to the streets of Boston in solidarity with Baltimore protesters rioting after the death of Freddie Gray. Marchers were vocal but peaceful, a picture in sharp contrast to Baltimore.
“I think you see the pressure building nationally in every community,” said Brock Satter, protest organizer with Mass Action Against Police Brutality.
This was the Boston response as some 1,000 protesters marched from Boston Police headquarters, a couple miles to Dudley Square in Roxbury. But here police were escorting the marchers, shutting down streets and holding traffic as they slowly advanced.
“I understand and appreciate exercising first amendment rights if you want change,” said Boston Police Chief William Gross. “But do so peacefully and respectfully and we’ll listen to that message.”
The message was justice, not just in the Gray case, but other cases of police violence against unarmed black men. The marchers say they understand the rioting in Baltimore. “Even though I don’t condone it, I understand how it felt when Freddie Gray was killed, how it felt when Michael Brown was killed,” said protester Sernh Essien.
Wayne Dozier, grandfather of D.J. Henry, a black college football player from Massachusetts who was shot by police in the suburbs New York City four years ago, attended the rally and said “it hurts” to lose a loved one to police action. He said society needs to change.
Mohammed Al-Yosefy says it was a way for young activists to connect, and says the Baltimore riots were a result of pent up anger and frustration. “If you shake a soda bottle enough it pops. We don’t want to see anyone hurt, we’re all Americans here.”
They got the attention they were looking for throughout the streets, even if their approach was different. Bruce Satter says it was a necessary wake-up call. “We think we need to mobilize in the streets to show in a visible manner the opposition that exists in the country to what’s going on.”
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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports: