BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston officials did not have any intelligence that a white supremacist group was planning to march through the city Saturday, but said they are planning to press charges after the group allegedly attacked a Black man.
“I’m going to be looking into what we could have done better, what we can continue doing moving forward,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.
About 100 people associated with the white supremacist group Patriot Front gathered in several areas of downtown Boston, including City Hall Plaza and Copley Square, carrying shields and covering their faces while marching to the beat of a drum during what appeared to be a surprise rally. Patriot Front members were charged with planning to riot at a Pride event in Idaho last month.
Police said members of the group attacked Black artist Charles Murrell, shoving and kicking him to the ground. Mayor Michelle Wu said officials plan to press charges, but did not know the group was coming.
“We did not have intelligence ahead of time and did not unfortunately know they were planning to come here and disrupt our festivities,” Wu said. “There was not a specific bit of information that they were intending to incite violence.”
“I think it’s important for law enforcement to ask those questions — what are the intentions of the group, maybe some questioning of what their plan is before we actually open the door for them to march through the city,” said Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League.
“Investigators are poring over surveillance video to help identify Patriot Front marchers and pursue possible criminal charges. If and when arrests are made we will prosecute to the fullest extent allowed by Massachusetts law,“ Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement.
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