A Massachusetts mayor has made headlines due of his refusal to remove a Black Lives Matter banner from City Hall, which has been hanging since August 2015. The Somerville Police Employee’s Association published a letter to Mayor Joseph Curtatone asking that it be replaced with an All Lives Matter banner.
“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,” said Michael McGrath, the union’s president.
The mayor, although sympathetic to the many brave men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty, stood firm in his refusal to take down the banner.
“My unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment addressing systemic racism in our nation,” Curtatone said in a statement. “The City of Somerville stands against all violence and all injustice, which is why a Black Lives Matter banner hangs at City Hall and why a banner in honor of the slain officers is hanging at Somerville Police Headquarters where it would provide the most moral support to our officers—both on my order.”
Curtatone’s decision has ruffled a few feathers and also brought him praise by those who support his defiant decision. His choice to stand firm behind the banner coincides with his Twitter bio that reads “7th term Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts. Working 24/7 to make the American Urban Renaissance happen.”
@JoeCurtatone It’s disgustingly offensive how you selectively decide which lives matter, Mayor.Clearly only black lives matter in Somerville
— Davis (@DavisFoxNC) July 21, 2016
@JoeCurtatone No one is thanking you! You rep a small faction of thugs! You’ve abandoned your police dept-they shouldn’t come when you call!
— Mickie (@MarvaMickie) July 21, 2016
— Dookémon (@BigWangTheoryy) July 21, 2016