A local artist and activist is demanding action from Boston police after he was apparently assaulted by a group of white supremacists who marched in the city this weekend.
Charles Murrell, who is Black, spoke briefly after meeting with Mayor Michelle Wu, where he and a group of advisers called for an independent investigation around what they said is the failure of officers that were present to intervene during the assault or make arrests.
They said they also asked for videos and other documents from that day, including copies of the police report, body camera footage from the officers that were there and any surveillance video that the city has collected.
"This is what every human being that lives in our country deserves," Murrell said in brief remarks.
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He also noted that he was advocating against violence directed at any group: "We are living in a state where it's not condoned if Black Lives Matter are going out in the streets and beating people up, if my gay friends are going in the street and beating up straight people. That is not okay in this country; that is what the concern is about."
Murrell did not answer questions about what happened that day, but the musician did say he's "not able to do as much as I would like" after receiving hand injuries on Saturday.
Wu promised to look into the group's requests, according to Murrell's advisers, who said the meeting went well.
Wu and top local and federal law enforcement officials have presented a united front against hate after the march and vowed to investigate any crimes that took place, but have pointed out that the First Amendment allows hate groups to say many objectionable things, up to a point.
Boston Police Department Superintendent-in-Chief Greg Long said Tuesday that his officers "did not witness" the alleged assault but are reviewing video recovered.
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"There's a lot of detectives assigned to that in an effort to identify those individuals involved in this assault. If we're able to make identifications, if people's faces are visible -- we have mechanisms to try to identify those people," Long said. "Whether they're out of state or local people, there will be charges brought."
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said Tuesday that his office is working closely with the Boston Police Department's civil rights unit on their investigation into the march, which he called "repugnant."
Photos and videos posted to social media showed dozens of protesters marching under the banner of the Patriot Front, characterized by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist group.
Wu has said the city had no advance intelligence about the demonstration, and New England Anti-Defamation League Director Robert Trestan told NBC10 Boston the groups are known for flash demonstrations.
"You don’t really know until they show up, so there are certainly some lessons to be learned if it happens again," he said. "You also want to make sure that you’re not provoking a confrontation. So groups like this, they're looking for a provocation. Marches like this can be a form of intimidation."
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The group has recently made appearances across the country. More than two dozen members were arrested last month in Idaho when they allegedly targeted a Pride festival.