The violence that broke out Sunday night in Boston between the remnants of a largely peaceful protest and law enforcement has caused a spat between the city's progressive local prosecutor, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, and its police union.
Rollins did not sugarcoat her outrage Monday as she called attempts by police to tamp down violence ironic.
Ironic, she said, “when in fact, it’s those very people that murder us with impunity.”
Those strong words followed this tweet from Rollins on Saturday:
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association fired back on Tuesday. In a letter to Rollins, the union's president and vice president called her statement reckless, dangerous and divisive, saying that labeling all police officers as murderers “undoubtedly incited violence” against Boston police officers.
Rollins responded on Twitter:
Former NAACP Boston President Michael Curry said that Rollins was not calling every officer a murderer. Rather, she was challenging everyone in law enforcement to recognize that there is a problem that can be fixed with the right reforms.
Rollins “was basically doing something bold and courageous that not enough DAs and not enough police chiefs across the country are willing to do," Curry said.
He added, in reference to police officers, “Stop holding tight to the old way of doing things. Shame on you. We need you to step up and take a knee.”
The patrolmen's association says its officers were at the protests to protect the thousands who went to peacefully raise their voices, and that they continued to protect the city even after some protesters violently attacked them. The union had no comment Wednesday, saying it would let the letter speak for itself.