Protest set for Boston Common as suburb mops up after riot

BOSTON (AP) — Protesters prepared to gather anew on Boston Common later Wednesday to denounce police brutality against people of color, as authorities mopped up after violent demonstrations overnight in a restive suburb.

Black Lives Matter called for more peaceful protesting aimed at ending white-on-black brutality like the deadly arrest of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.

Demonstrators planned to gather on the Common at 3:30 p.m.

Thousands protested peacefully Tuesday night in Boston’s Franklin Park, staging a “die-in” and chanting “no justice, no peace.” Police officers at times knelt in solidarity with the racially diverse crowd.

Things took a violent turn Tuesday night in Brockton, a city south of Boston with a large black population, where police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up protesters rallying in front of the police station as they hurled bottles and other objects at officers. The unrest followed a peaceful rally at a middle school.

“I share the anger of our citizens at police misconduct across the United States, but I’m saddened that some chose violence and vandalism,” Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan said in a statement. “We cannot let a few violent acts overshadow the powerful message of peace.”

Protesters rushed to the aid of a Boston Globe reporter who was hit in the face with pepper spray as police pushed back the crowd. State police were called after demonstrators began pelting Brockton officers with bottles and fireworks.

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