MA Activists Join National Protest Before Chauvin Trial

Lily Bohlke –  Commonwealth News Service

BOSTON — Advocates for families who’ve been impacted by police brutality in Boston joined a nationwide call to protest, the weekend before the start of the trial of the officer charged with killing George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer.

Brock Satter, co-founder of Mass Action Against Police Brutality, said protesters are calling for the convictions of all four officers involved in Floyd’s death.

They’re also calling for their own city to reopen past cases of police brutality, and prosecute, convict and jail officers who are found to have abused their power over civilians.

“99.99% of the cases never even go to trial,” Satter asserted. “There’s hundreds and thousands of cases, going back years, that have never been prosecuted. And many of these have, you know, there’s families representing these people who’ve passed who are still out here fighting, demanding justice.”

Mothers of children who died at the hands of police were among the speakers at Saturday’s protest, and Satter noted Black, Latino and low-income people are disproportionately impacted by police brutality.

Satter added the fight for law-enforcement accountability has been a long one, and he hopes the current momentum for change will continue beyond the case of George Floyd.

“It’s not just the police that are implicated,” Satter remarked. “It’s the partners of the police, it’s everyone who has been a part of the cover-up of these crimes and not taking them to trial, the prosecutors, judges, elected politicians.”

Last week, the U.S. House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and alter what’s called qualified immunity, supposedly making it easier to pursue claims of police misconduct.

GOP opponents to the reform bill say it would weaken police forces, but advocates say officers, like anyone else, need to be held accountable for their actions.