The Boston Police Department is showing support for protesters who wish to demonstrate during the upcoming New Years celebrations, but they are asking that any die-in protesters are considerate of children who will be in attendance.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said he has no problem with the demonstrators coming out but he also doesn’t want anyone to ruin what has been years of family-friendly fun by dramatically dropping down to a faux death during any planned die-ins.
Evans specifically mentioned the First Night event, which is considered one of the biggest family-friendly events of the year.
Many children will be joined by their parents and loved ones at the event, watching street performers and gazing in amazement at beautiful ice sculptures.
As the children gaze in wonder, Evans wants to make sure that no child is traumatized by thinking they are witnessing a real death.
“We’re going to accommodate the protesters if they choose to do so,” Evans said, according to ABC. “But we will not let it disrupt the events. I can only appeal that if people are going to demonstrate, just realize there are a lot of young kids out there, a lot of families.”
Evan said as long as children are considered and the protesters remain peaceful, officers will allow them to continue their demonstrations without interruption.
“We’re going to protect their right to demonstrate and, hopefully, we can both make this event a successful event,” he added. “First Night is a long tradition in the city. I hate to see anything spoil what is usually a great family fun night in the City of Boston….please don’t upset these young kids’ night.”
A group called First Night Against Police Violence already planned demonstrations during a parade in the afternoon.
Die-in protests have been sweeping the nation ever since Eric Garner, the unarmed Staten Island father, was placed in a fatal chokehold by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo.
Garner was captured on camera repeating “I can’t breathe” as the officer pulled him down to the ground and other officers got on top of him.
Eventually Garner stopped moving and lost consciousness.
Only a few days after a grand jury announced that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, a New York grand jury announced Pantaleo would not be indicted in Garner’s death.
Since then, protests have swept the nation in support of all the unarmed Black citizens who were killed by the officers who were sworn to serve and protect them.