The family of an MIT police officer killed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings is pushing back against what it says is a lack of support for law enforcement.
Sean Collier's family is starting a full-page newspaper ad campaign to remind the community about the sacrifices made by Collier and others in law enforcement.
"Every day, I miss that smile," said Nicole Lynch, Collier's sister. "He was one of the best, he was one of the best cops."
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Collier was on duty when he was shot to death by the Tsarnaev brothers days after the bombings in April of 2013. His name and photo will now appear in newspaper ads urging support for police.
His family is speaking out amid nationwide calls for police reform that have followed the death of George Floyd in the custody of officers in Minneapolis and other incidents in which police have shot unarmed Black people.
"Sean was a person behind the badge, and his ultimate goal in life was to help people and to serve his community," said Lynch, who believes that goal is shared by most police officers.
Lynch acknowledged a need for reform, but said she believes officers are not being supported enough.
"The 'defund police' movement is something that we feel that, although there needs to be some reform, defunding the police will ultimately harm the community," she said.
The ad, which will appear in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, is co-sponsored by a collection of different police organizations.
"They are serving us as citizens, and if we can even get one person to sit back and think about that for a moment, I think that we achieved what we were looking for," she said.
Lynch said the timing of the ad doesn’t have to do with the upcoming presidential election.
"It just was something that has been weighing heavily on our hearts and our minds," she said.