BOSTON (CBS) – Hundreds gathered on Boston Common Wednesday afternoon to honor the life of George Floyd and speak out against police brutality. Protesters held signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and chanted, “What’s his name? George Floyd!”
It’s the fourth day in a row protesters are making their voices heard in Boston.
“I’m extremely happy to have that right thankful to our soldiers and our National Guard for our freedom so that we are able to do this,” said Tyler Russell.
Ayah Harper and her brother Adam from Revere were among those who attended. “We need change and I want to go about it peacefully,” Adam Harper said.
There have been protests in Boston and all across the country since Floyd died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last week. The officer who pinned Floyd down with his knee faces an additional charge of second-degree murder, and arrest warrants have been issued for the three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.
Ayah Harper said she needed to be at the rally because it is a “human issue” that affects everyone.
“If I have to sit here and fight for this every single day then everybody else should care about it because this affects my life,” Ayah said.
“This is my life. I can’t take off the color of my skin and I can never escape this reality. So I’m not going to stop talking about it. This is why I am here. I need to be here and I need to have my voice heard.”
WBZ-TV’s David Wade Speaks To Protesters
After hearing from several speakers, the hundreds of protesters began to circle the Boston Common before walking up Tremont Street towards City Hall Plaza.
Police and National Guard members blocked side streets and businesses. One National Guard soldier handed out water to the protesters.
— Brad Tatum (@BradTatum) June 3, 2020
They eventually made their way back to the Common where the rally ended at about 6:30 p.m.
Governor Charlie Baker said he appreciates the protesters who are wearing face coverings at the rallies. He also says the state will support communities to keep these gatherings peaceful.
“No one at the state of the local level has tried to shut anybody down for executing that first amendment right,” said Governor Baker. “I think it’s critically important for law enforcement to keep people safe.”
Eddy Chrispin is the President of Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers. He’s also a Sergeant with Boston Police and has worked during the recent protests.
“For a lot of us. You know people kind see us as just blue not understanding that we take off the uniform we’re black,” said Chrispin.
Chrispin says officers understand the struggle and need for change.
“I think the message is let’s engage in meaningful conversation. Protest is good, but what do you do next week? What do you do next month? Where will you be a year from now as far as pushing for social structural change,” said Chrispin.
On Sunday there were massive peaceful protests in Boston that gave way to violence and looting after 9 p.m.