BOSTON (CBS) — Thousands rallied in Boston in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Black Lives Matter Boston and Violence In Boston, Inc. organized the gathering that started at Franklin Park Tuesday evening.
A “die in” was held on Blue Hill Ave. Attendees laid on the ground 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the total time officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“I figured if we are going to do a march we are going to do it in our community,” organizer Monica Cannon-Grant said. “We want the rest of the world to see that we show up in numbers, and not only do we care about black lives when they die at the hands of the police, but we care about each other’s black lives.”
Thousands of people chanting “no justice no peace” and “black lives matter” marched down Franklin Park Road toward Lemuel Shattuck Hospital where a vigil and rally were held.
“I’m here because I’m scared,” a man named Damien told WBZ-TV’s Kristina Rex. “Driving down on the street if the police pull me over, I don’t know what to do.”
After the rally, there were some tense moments as protesters surrounded police cruisers and officers on bicycles. The police officers moved out and the protesters began marching away from Franklin Park.
Organizers urged the crowd to go home and not cause any damage to city.
“Our officers are there to keep people safe,” Boston Police tweeted after the rally. “The intention is not to invite, incite or provoke violence.”
Thousands of people then marched toward Boston Police headquarters and the State House. Outside Boston Police headquarters, the crowd cheered as officers responded to their calls to “take a knee”.
The crowd continued to gather at the State House late Tuesday night, lighting off fireworks and chanting at the police officers behind the fence.
As of midnight, police said only two arrests were made in Boston.
On Sunday there were massive peaceful protests in Boston that gave way to violence and looting after 9 p.m.
Boston Mayor Walsh has said Sunday night’s violence will not be tolerated again.
“We are going to keep Boston safe so that Boston continues to be a place where you can make your voices heard,” Walsh said.