Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, released the following statement in response to protests in Boston against police brutality:

“Boston’s peaceful demonstrations were a direct response to the systemic violence that police perpetuate in Black communities across this country. The peaceful protests that lasted several hours across the city yesterday afternoon were inspiring.

“While we work to gather more facts about the reported altercations between police and civilians that occurred late last night, this much is clear: We need bold policy changes that address structural racism and systemic inequality at the root of our policing institutions. Police violence cannot be effectively addressed without completely reimagining the role for police: a significant reduction in the role, responsibilities, and presence of police in the everyday lives of communities that are heavily policed. To that end, the ACLU of Massachusetts joins the calls of Black and Brown-led organizations to divest from systems that hurt communities, and to reinvest in alternative systems that support, feed, and protect people. We also call on lawmakers to reform qualified immunity, and to introduce substantive restraints to the uses of force by police.”