Hundreds of protestors, marching in solidarity with demonstrators in Baltimore outraged over the death of Freddy Gray, shut down streets near Dudley Square in Roxbury Wednesday.
Police and protesters kept things peaceful. Marchers young and old, and of all races, held signs that said they stand
with Baltimore. Dozens of city and state police gave the crowds a wide berth as they surged into the streets. And Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross said repeatedly that he supports protests because without
them, he never would have been the first African American in his role.
"I think that's what sets Boston aside from things that are happening in other parts of the country, is that we've shown that we use our voices of logic, not the ignorance of destruction," Gross said.
Leaders of the demonstration said the situation in Baltimore is not unique; it's a problem around the country and in Boston.
Sandra MacIntosh, an organizer with the Coalition for Equal Quality Education, told the crowd that it doesn't matter if officers are black or white.
"Because, somehow, when you put on the badge, you drink the Kool-Aid," MacIntosh said. "But we have more than what they have. We got the people power."
Speakers also included the families of local black men who lost their lives in interactions with police, like Wayne Dozier, the grandfather of DJ Henry, a college football player from Easton fatally shot in 2010 by a suburban New York officer.
"Those that are on the sidelines that are looking, that are
questioning — get involved, because we need the masses to change the situation," Dozier said. "Push the vision of freedom to be able to walk down the street without feeling intimidated because of the color of your skin."
Nikia Ramsey, the Sister of Burrell Ramsey-White, who was fatally shot by Boston Police in 2012, told protesters the deaths won't stop until police officers face consequences for their actions.
"This was almost three years ago and we still have no answers," Ramsey said. "I'm tired, people in Baltimore are tired, people in Ferguson are tired, this is out of control and it has got to stop."
Leaders of the protest said the event was the first step in large-scale organizing for many to come.