BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh said now is the time for Boston residents to “listen and learn” from their black neighbors who have been impacted by the death of George Floyd.
Walsh asked people to pause at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday for a moment of silence that will last 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of Floyd as part of a movement led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“I’m participating in this and I ask everyone to please participate in the moment of silence here in Boston,” said Walsh. “Mr. Floyd’s murder has caused real pain. It has brought out real pain that has existed in this city for a long, long time.”
Walsh thanked the people who have protested peacefully in recent days after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis was captured on cell phone video. Four Minneapolis police officers are now facing charges.
“I want to thank the thousands of people who have come out to honor George Floyd, and take a stand against racism at Boston Common yesterday, Franklin Park on Tuesday, and across the city over the last several days,” said Walsh.“We’ve seen protesters looking out for each other. We saw leaders in our community guiding young people to express themselves safely. We saw police officers taking a knee in solidarity.”
The Boston mayor also thanked people who volunteered their time to clean up damage left behind following riots and looting that followed the Sunday night protests.
“I’m listening to the voices and the messages of my black neighbors who are harmed by systemic racism, every single day,” said Walsh. “As elected officials it’s time to listen and learn, and keep those voices at the center of the conversation, not just for today, not just for the next week, not for the just the next month, for our entire careers.”
“I encourage everyone who’s white, listen to your black neighbors. Listen to black Bostonians who are protesting. Listen to your friends. Listen to your colleagues of color. Be part of the solution.”
Walsh called Sunday night’s destruction “a tough moment” but said overall “this is a good week for our city.”
“You cleaned it up. We’re helping small businesses get fixed up. We continue to listen to our black community and push for equity and justice in all that we do, and continue to fight this virus, with every ounce of energy that we have,” said Walsh. “I am more confident than ever that we’ll come out of this stronger, healthier, a more equitable city.”