State House News Service

Patrick ‘Sick Of’ Violence Against Unarmed Black Men

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick, who has periodically addressed race relations during his tenure as governor, said on Wednesday he is “sick of unarmed black men being shot by police” in his first public response to the shooting by a police office of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

“I’m sick of unarmed black men being shot by police. I’m sick of the lawlessness on the streets. I think everybody’s just tired of ‘When are we going to get through with this kind of thing?’” Patrick said.

The state’s first black governor, and the former civil rights chief for the U.S. Department of Justice, Patrick said he is “hopeful” with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s arrival on the scene.

“But that’s a really tough mission that he set out on and I know that from some experience,” Patrick told reporters during his first public appearance this week in Greenfield, according to a transcript of his remarks.

When asked why in 2014 the country is still dealing with race issues, Patrick said, “Please, that’s an existential question and I don’t have an answer to it. I think that we have a great challenge in this country acknowledging the extraordinary progress we have made on race relations, much of it in my life time, and at the same time acknowledging how much remains to be done.”

And when asked if he would have handled the situation in Ferguson differently, Patrick said, “Well, I’m glad I don’t have to.”

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