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Demonstrators Gather In Boston In Reaction To Deadly Week Of Violence Around U.S.02:51
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The Mass Action Against Police Brutality demonstration in Roxbury on Saturday. (Jack Lepiarz/WBUR)
The Mass Action Against Police Brutality demonstration in Roxbury on Saturday. (Jack Lepiarz/WBUR)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Various groups around Boston are gathering this weekend, like others around the nation, to express solidarity with black men killed by police over the past week and protest police violence.

Some groups are also expressing solidarity for the five Dallas police officers who were killed at a Black Lives Matter rally on Thursday night.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Roxbury Innovation Center just before 11 a.m. Saturday — where organizer James Hills took the microphone.

"One of the things that's important in a rally is that we chant — and we'll interchange those, we'll put the message in. We're also aware of the fact that people united will never be defeated," Hills said.

Hills, and the others near Dudley Station were demonstrating after the killing of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.

But Hills says they're also standing in solidarity with the five police officers killed in Texas.

"Gun violence is wrong anywhere. Our president said it best — just because black lives matter does not mean that blue lives don't," he said.

There was also anger over the perceived targeting of minorities by police.

That frustration was especially apparent at a later rally — steps away from the first — organized by Mass Action Against Police Brutality.

It marched down Washington Street to nearby Dudley Square Plaza, where organizer Nino Brown addressed the crowd.

"We are in a war. The police are militarized — they have their weapons, they have their strategies, they have their tactics, and they have their politics and their ideology," he said.

Brown, and others who spoke railed against a system they say is designed to protect police officers. They criticize low indictment rates of officers who shoot civilians, and they are circulating a petition to reopen every case of police violence in Boston.

The issue of such violence, they say, is not new. What is new is the advent of digital cameras, allowing interactions with police to be filmed by bystanders. But one of the biggest calls among demonstrators on Saturday was for police to start wearing body cameras.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, speaking outside a nearby Family Day celebration, said the city is looking into police body cameras.

"It's not as simple as putting in a body camera. We have to look at the policy. What the information's going to be recorded, when they go on, when they go off, how do they work? I mean, all of this is kinda new. It's new to the country," Walsh said.

Either way, Walsh said police body cameras are coming to Boston in the "near future." But exactly when is still unclear.

This segment aired on July 10, 2016.

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Jack Lepiarz is a reporter and anchor at WBUR.

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