Embarrassment to the Movement
To the Editor,
Loud, even disruptive, protests honor the memory of George Floyd and increase the pressure for swift, transparent accountability for those who killed him. I commend those who protested loudly, yet peacefully. But stealing suits, robbing a jewelry store, and rounding out the night by vandalizing businesses in Back Bay, attacking police and torching cruisers? That’s crime, and nothing more.
Let me be clear: the violence and destruction in Boston was an embarrassment to the movement for police reform and accountability. The Boston Police, supported by State Police, Transit Police, federal law enforcement and the National Guard, was doing its job – the dangerous, necessary job of protecting the public safety. I support them completely and, if needed, I will use federal charges to make that point.
I commend the Boston Police and the hundreds of other local, state and federal officers on the streets last night, for their bravery, professionalism and restraint. You reminded us that 99% of law enforcement officers are true public servants, putting themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling
We Feel Frustrated and Even Helpless
To the Editor,
Today, we reflect on the tragic death of George Floyd, the racist incident in Central Park, the shooting of a Black man while jogging in Georgia – as well as many others. We are saddened and angry about these events that once again laid bare the ugly racism that still exists in this country with particularly deadly consequences for Black boys and men (not that Black women are exempt).
While we are horrified, we are unfortunately not surprised. These are not isolated incidents but a chronic pattern of racial hate crimes that have persisted for hundreds of years. In this difficult time in which communities of color are disproportionately affected by the devastating health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19, this seems too much for these communities – and all of us – to bear.
We feel frustrated and even helpless as we struggle with what to do to fundamentally change the racist systems, structures and culture that contribute to tragedies like George Floyd and so many others. But, we know that as a community, at the very least we must recognize, discuss and grieve the heinous incidences of the past month.
At a time like this, and the many others that will come, we must reaffirm the importance of our mission of “improving the health and well-being of the diverse communities we serve.” CCHI strives to model what it means to value all lives. For those disproportionately affected by this pandemic and in memory of those that have lost their lives, we rededicate ourselves to partner with others to root out racism and journey towards equity.
Vice President for Community Health
Executive Director, CCHI