Support the news

Hundreds Protest Ferguson Decision In March Through Boston Streets03:17
Download

Play
An estimated crowd of 1,400 protesters walked to the South Bay Corrections facility during their march in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
An estimated crowd of 1,400 protesters walked to the South Bay Corrections facility during their march in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
This article is more than 5 years old.

As demonstrations expressing outrage over race relations with law enforcement erupted across the country, police in Boston tried to contain and protect protesters as they moved across the city Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

The protesters decried a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man.

A Boston police department spokesman said Wednesday that 45 people were arrested. State Police reported 51 arrests.

The protests began in Roxbury's Dudley Square. Shouting "Hands up! Don't shoot!" more than 600 people gathered for a rally in front of the modern District 2 Boston police station.

And then someone gave the crowd marching orders.

"We are going to South Bay Corrections," one of the protest leaders said. "We are going to visit our people. We are going to let them know that their lives matter as well."

The crowd made its way peacefully to South Bay House of Corrections.

"No justice, no peace. No racist police," the marchers chanted.

As they went, the crowd of protesters gathered more supporters.

In Boston, hundreds of protesters marched through the city streets in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson in the aftermath of a grand jury's decision to not indict a white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
In Boston, hundreds of protesters marched through the city streets in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson in the aftermath of a grand jury's decision to not indict a white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

At South Bay, state police estimated the crowd had grown to approximately 1,400 people. Prisoners looked through the bars at the crowd. One had written something on two sheets of paper, but the sign was too small to be read from the street.

Some protesters tried to get onto Interstate 93, but police prevented them. Some headed off back toward Dudley Square, only to disperse.

Several hundred others marched up Massachusetts Avenue, through the South End, picking up more supporters along the way, like Jessica Smith, who had just left a gala.

"And I honestly am not this upper-class in my attire," she said, laughing as she marched alongside the throng of protesters.

Several people shouted: "Boylston!" And the crowd turned right onto Boylston Street, through the Back Bay.

"One thing I do admire for Boston: there is more reason," said Obino Ojimba, who had been marching for two hours from Dudley Square. "There is more restraint in the Boston police. They actually try to be more hands-on and be more interactive to defuse the situation. It's not how it was 20, 30 years ago."

The marchers crossed Copley Square and turned down Clarendon Street. The crowd stopped again as police prevented it from getting onto the Massachusetts Turnpike ramp. The band of marchers, gathering yet more supporters along the way, then headed back to Boylston Street.

"And we are going to march until we cannot march any more," said Marumbe Asamoah, who had been walking for five hours. "And we want everybody to know black lives matter, and that's why we are here, and we will not stop until our voices are heard and until we are equal among all Americans."

They marched along the Common, into Chinatown, and onto Dewey Square, where they would remain much of the night.

Boston police spent a large portion of the night blocking traffic to allow protesters to march forward safely.

One state trooper was injured when he was bitten on the wrist by a protester, State Police said in a statement. He was treated by Boston EMS on scene.

"We will maintain an increased presence around potential demonstration sites in Boston throughout the next few days," State Police said in a statement.

With reporting from the WBUR newsroom and the Associated Press.

More Photos:

Hundreds of protesters waved signs and marched for hours throughout the city of Boston late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Hundreds of protesters waved signs and marched for hours throughout the city of Boston late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Protesters, numbering in the hundreds, gathered in Boston in response to a grand jury's recent decision in shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Protesters, numbering in the hundreds, gathered in Boston in response to a grand jury's recent decision in shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Boston protesters held signs and posters in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Boston protesters held signs and posters in solidarity with demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Boston police monitored the movements of hundreds of protesters in the city Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Boston police monitored the movements of hundreds of protesters in the city Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Protesters gathered outside the South Bay Corrections facility, with inmates looking out of barred windows. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)
Protesters gathered outside the South Bay Corrections facility, with inmates looking out of barred windows. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

This segment aired on November 26, 2014.

Related:

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news