Boston Police Prepare for ‘Boston Free Speech' Rally

Tens of thousands are coming to the Boston Common for a controversial rally.

A week after the violence and the chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, tens of thousands are coming to the Boston Common for a controversial rally.

Boston police commissioner William Evans hopes to prevent the problems seen in Charlottesville with preparation and policing.

“That’s Charlottesville, that’s not Boston,” Evans said, “I hope tomorrow is peaceful. We have a lot of cameras out there are lot of undercover officers, a lot of assets.”

One major asset is training. Boston officers receive training and instruction at least twice a year for large public gatherings. On Saturday, officer will also wear regular uniforms, not helmets or tactical gear. Evans has said in the past this reduces tensions between police and protesters.

“We want to go in very soft and hope that we have a very peaceful day,” said Evans, “We train all the time whether it’s the Red Sox victory, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, we train to move crowds in the least restrained way…we don’t want to have to use any force.”

Boston has seen a wide range of rallies and demonstrations in recent years.

Evans crediting the BPD’s specialized training for creating an environment that minimizes conflicts between protestors and police.

“Our officers are well trained we realize people have a legitimate right to protest whether we agree with them or not we treat everybody with respect.”

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