BOSTON (CBS) — Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins delivered an emotional statement Monday about the “burning rage” fueling the protests in Boston and around the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Rollins said she is “exhausted” by instances of police officers killing black Americans “as if we were animals.”
“This burning rage that you are seeing when you turn your TV on or you hear in my voice is real. People are fed up, and to the white community that is now waking up to see this rage, we have been telling you this forever,” Rollins said. “We have been saying this since Colin Kaepernick took a knee. We have been saying this for decades, and you didn’t listen to us. You didn’t care, until you saw a video.”
“You will be prosecuted & held accountable but I will also say that buildings can be fixed…there are lives that were stolen & people that were lynched & murdered & they are never coming back.” Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins #wbz pic.twitter.com/VfMQIGFCCA
— Christina Hager (@HagerWBZ) June 1, 2020
People looted stores, set fires and destroyed police vehicles from Downtown Crossing to Newbury and Boylston streets after Sunday’s peaceful protests. There were also reports of shots being fired toward police officers. Rollins said those people “disgraced George Floyd’s memory” and said they will be prosecuted.
“I will also say that buildings can be fixed. And I am happy that those officers, I hope will make it out of it as well the civilians,” she said. “There are lives that were stolen, and people that were lynched and murdered, and they are never coming back. I hope that you take a minute to reflect what a terrible, terrible situation we are experiencing right now.”
Leaders across America have been calling for calm amid the sometimes violent protests. Rollins said protesters “are disgusted and outraged – and they should be.”
“It is completely ironic to have to say to you, ‘please don’t be violent. Please keep your voice down. Please be silent and comply with all of the police’s requirements, when in fact it’s those very people that murder us with impunity,'” Rollins said. “But that’s where we are right now.”