By John Lynds
With tensions between police and citizens at an all time high nationwide and the murder of five Dallas police officers during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on July 7, Mayor Martin Walsh joined Boston Police’s top brass, District A-7 officers and residents to call for an end to all forms of violence and a return to unity.
During East Boston’s weekly Peace Walk last Tuesday, Mayor Martin Walsh said the goal is to show the community that the police in Boston care about residents and their quality of life.
“I want to thank everyone for coming out,” said Walsh to the crowd that had gathered before the walk kicked off outside District A-7 Police Station on Paris Street. “The police and the community here have joined forces and have done a lot of great work throughout the neighborhood and we want to continue those efforts. It is important for us to be out here on a regular basis and let the neighborhood and residents know we care about what’s going on not only in the community but around the nation.”
Superintendent William Evans said the community support for not only for Boston Police, but officers throughout the country and victims of violence everywhere.
“This means a lot with all that has been going on in other parts of the country,” said Evans. “This shows that police and residents can come together and work together to stop the violence.”
Before the group was led in prayer by Deacon Francis McHugh of Holy Redeemer Church, Evans asked the group to keep Eastie’s latest victim to violence, 18-year-old Blanca Lainez, in their prayers as well as her alleged killer who was only 16-years-old.
“We lost not only a young woman but also a young man to senseless violence,” said Evans.
Rev. Kevin Scott then reminded residents about the ongoing effort for peace in the neighborhood.
“If it is Tuesday and it is 6 p.m. it is time for a Peace Walk in East Boston,” said Rev. Scott. “We will be doing this all summer long and I’m very thankful to be able to be over here in East Boston to help with this ongoing effort.”
Peace Walk organizer Joe Logrippo said Commissioner Evans implemented these walks a few years ago and they started in high crime areas like Roxbury and Dorchester as a community outreach in response to violent crimes.
“It’s important to come together as a community to stand and pray together,” said Logrippo. “The Mayor and Police Commissioner are doing all they can to keep our city safe. The community leaders and residents also have to do their part. It’s always inspiring to come together, pray and walk for peace and safety in our neighborhood.”
Sen. Joe Boncore, who attended his first Peace Walk last Tuesday since being elected added, “While cities across this nation are dealing with unspeakable violence it was incredible to join the residents of east Boston, Mayor Walsh and Boston police to come together as one community for the Peace Walk.”