Rally in Boston Calls for Racial Justice, Reopening of Police Shooting Cases

Relatives of Terrence Coleman, Usaamah Rahim, Juston Root and others shot by police in Massachusetts joined the protest

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Activists and relatives of people shot by police in Massachusetts held a rally Wednesday at the State House to call for racial justice and for Gov. Charlie Baker to reopen police shooting cases.

The event, which began at 5 p.m., came after relatives of loved ones killed by police held a press conference last week to call on Charlie Baker to reopen cases of men shot by police in the Bay State.

"Six officers opened fire at once, with 31 bullets discharged. Twenty-six penetrated," said Evan Root, father of Juston Root, who was killed by police in February. "Within moments, he was dead."

Family members of three men who were killed by police over the last several years are calling on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to help them re-open their cases.

The Root family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming authorities used excessive force and violated his civil rights.

Organized by Mass Action Against Police Brutality, the rally also called for racial justice and solidarity in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Also in attendance was Hope Coleman, who’s 31-year-old son, Terrence Coleman, was shot in 2016 after Boston police officers say he attacked them with a knife.

Hope Coleman says her son, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, denies her son was armed or posed any danger.

Months after Terrence Coleman was shot and killed by Boston Police, his mother, Hope Coleman, says the two officers involved need to be held accountable.

“Governor Baker I’m depending on you also,” she said at the press conference last week. “This happened here in Boston to you know?”

Rahimah Rahim, the mother of Usaamah Rahim, who was shot and killed by police in Boston in 2015, said her son’s killing was unjust.

Investigators suspected Rahim of a terror plot and say he lunged at officers with a knife when they tried to arrest him.

"You never forget when you lose a child," said Rahimah Rahim. "I'll always carry the hole in my heart that my son was gone."

One person was shot and killed by police Friday morning following the shooting of a valet outside Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Asked for a comment, Sarah Finlaw, Baker's press secretary, said last week the administration had been working "proactively" with the Black and Latino Caucus to "advance several critical initiatives" and had supported a bill that would "provide law enforcement with the training and accountability necessary to serve all communities effectively, safely and responsibly."

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to enhancing and improving public safety and looks forward to working with the Legislature on this issue,” she said.

Their call comes amid ongoing protests calling for racial justice and police reform, which have been reignited following the shooting of Blake.

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