Somerville, Massachusetts Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone is a White official who fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement. So much so that he's continued to allow a very hard-to-miss Black Lives Matter banner reign over the steps of City Hall since August 2015.
According to USA Today, Somerville's Police Employee Association penned a letter to Mayor Curtatone asking him to remove the bold Black Lives Matter signage and replace it with one that reads "All Lives Matter." Police Union president Michael McGrath says, “It is inconceivable to us as it is demoralizing that our city would propagate its support for this movement while standing silent over the seemingly daily protest assassinations of innocent police officers around the country."
But Curtatone is standing stong.The mayor turned to his official Twitter page last Thursday to thank people for their support, saying, "Most folks get that respect for minorities & respect for police go together.
Been bombarded w/ thank yous for standing w/ #BlackLivesMatter Most folks get that respect for minorities & respect for police go together.— Joseph A. Curtatone (@JoeCurtatone) July 21, 2016
And some of the folks who "get it" include Somerville's own police department - not to be confused with the Police Employee's Association. In fact, Somerville's Police Chief David Fallon addressed the controversy during a press conference last week encouraging the mayor's decision. “If the mayor feels that sign makes people in our community feel safer, feel more engaged with the Police Department, then I’m 100 percent behind it,” Fallon said.
Before the press conference ended, Fallon said he would like to "sit down with the mayor, the union president and members of the police department to have a 'serious and effective' discussion regarding the banner," reports USA Today. Until then, the Somerville PD is standing with its mayor.
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