Statement of Somerville Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang Regarding Police & BLM Rally

Black Lives Matter! — I support 1000% Mayor Curtatone’s perspective and refusal to meet the Somerville Police Employees Association President’s demand that the City remove the Black Lives Matter banner hanging on City Hall. I will be at the Black Lives Matter rally today at Union Square (starting 4:30 pm) along with other elected officials. I also plan to go up to City Hall to talk with the SPEA President at his rally (starting 5:30 pm) to tell him personally that I oppose his inflammatory and hurtful actions. This rally and his letter do not reflect the fine men and women of the Somerville Police Department! I predict the vast majority of the police offices who attend will NOT be from Somerville. SPEA President has gone rogue. I have heard from both the Chief of Police and the Mayor that SPEA President’s actions and words do not reflect the attitudes of Somerville police officers, and that the SPEA members were not consulted on and did not approve his letter or actions. (There is another union for “superior” officers, i.e. sergeants and above in rank, and the Superior Officers Police Union does not support the SPEA’s demand.) I worked in the Somerville Police Dept for three years in the late 1990s and I know many of the officers. While there are a few bad apples, the vast majority are open-minded, progressive police officers. The SPD is deeply engaged in and with our community and have great working relationships with all groups here. Mayor Curtatone has been articulate and eloquent in his statements, such as this one: “My unwavering support for our police officers does not and cannot preempt our commitment to addressing systemic racism in our nation, The City of Somerville stands against all violence and all injustice, which is why a Black Lives Matter banner hangs at City Hall and why a banner in honor of the slain officers is hanging at Somerville Police Headquarters where it would provide the most moral support to our officers—both on my order.”a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.