“Let me be clear, that banner will not come down.”
Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts Joseph Curtatone once more reiterated his stance on the #BlackLivesMatter banner hanging in front of the city hall despite the requests of police officers to have the banner removed and replaced with one that says “All Lives Matter”.
The banner, which has been up since August of 2015 has caused a stir within the state and throughout the country, with the president of the Somerville police union Michael McGrath citing that the banner depicts police officers as “killers of innocent citizens of color”.
Police officers from across the state are set to come together to rally against the Black Lives Matter banner along with the Somerville Police Department. At the same time, a Black Lives Matter rally will be held in the same city.
“The rally will be peaceful and respectful, but will demonstrate the solidarity of police organizations in Massachusetts to the exclusionary message that the banner sends,” said the Somerville Police Employee’s Association in a news release.
Despite the banner’s presence for nearly a year now, it’s recently caught a lot of slack due to recent events in which police officers targets following the officer-involved shooting deaths of black men Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
The police station in Somerville is also host to a banner, one that honors the fallen officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge and according to Curtatone, the conflict arose because there is a belief that the two ideas are competing with one another.
“Those banners to do not represent competing thoughts,” Curtatone says. ”Standing up for our minority populations and supporting the police officers who protect and serve our communities should go hand-in-hand.”
Today’s [July 28] police rally is set for 5:30 p.m. ET.