About 100 members of law enforcement from different communities came together Thursday to protest the Black Lives Matter banner that's been hanging on City Hall in Somerville, Massachusetts.
"The banner implies that Somerville is guilty of racially-motivated decision-making against minorities," said Mike McGrath of the Somerville Police Employees Association. "When, in fact, the evidence supports the exact opposite. Further, the banner is exclusionary."
Meanwhile, in nearby Union Square, the Black Lives Matter movement rallied to support the continued presence of the banner, which has been up since last August.
"When we say 'Black Lives Matter,' we're not saying others lives don't matter," said Didi Delgado, the organizer of the Black Lives Matter rally.
The police officers say they agree with some of the movement's core values, but that fringe elements of the group have supported attacks on police officers across the county, so they do not feel the banner is appropriate.
"That sign indicates one particular race," said retired Somerville detective David Lyons. "We all breathe the same air. Everybody's life should matter. All lives should matter."
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone says the banner is here to stay, and that it helps to build bridges and foster much-needed conversation.