Demonstrators demand action against police brutality

BOSTON (WHDH) - Dozens of demonstrators rallied in Boston Saturday as part of a movement across the country to call for prosecution of police violence.

“The central demands of this nationwide demonstration are jail the killer cops, prosecute the police and last but not least reopen all past cases of police brutality,” said organizer Brock Satter.

The organization Mass Action Against Police Brutality joined other groups nationwide rallying in advance of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd last year. Chauvin is accused of kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

The families of two men killed by police in Boston and Brookline, Terence Coleman and Juston Root, joined Saturday’s rally as well. Police shot and killed Coleman, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, in 2016 after Coleman’s mother called paramedics to her home

Prosecutors said Coleman attacked EMTs with a knife but his mother said her son was not armed. The district attorney said the officers’ use of deadly force in shooting Coleman was justified.

In February 2020, Root brandished what appeared to be a firearm but turned out to an air pistol and paintball guns outside Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and police shot and killed him after he fled into Brookline. The district attorney cleared all the officers who shot Root as well, and demonstrators say all cases of police brutality and shootings need to be re-opened.

“W need accountability, transparency, we need justice,” said Jennifer Root Bannon, Juston Root’s sister. “Governor Baker, Maura Healey, take action reopen the cases for independent investigations. We deserve it and the public deserves it.”

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