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Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone is refusing to take down the 4×12-foot“Black Lives Matter” banner hanging outside of City Hall and scoffed at the suggestion of raising a “Blue Lives Matter” banner beside it.

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The Somerville Police Employees Association and other police unions say they’ll peacefully rally Thursday evening outside Somerville City Hall to demand that Mayor Joseph Curtatone remove the sign.

Police contend that the BLM movement incites violence against police. “In the face of the continuing assassination of innocent police officers across the country … it is irresponsible of the city to publicly declare support for the lives of one sector of our population to the exclusion of others,” McGrath said in a statement this week.

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Curtatone, who is a white Democrat and the mayor since 2004, stated that standing up for black and minorities and supporting police officers are not “competing interests.” He noted the city also hung a banner over police headquarters by honoring the officers slain in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Both of those banners are hanging for the same reason: Too many people have died in a cycle of violence that needs to be stopped,” he said in a statement. “It is a violence that tests us in every community, demanding we either come together or break apart.” Curtatone has also gone on the record suggesting that charges should be dropped against local BLM protesters who recently shut down a highway during a protest.

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Curtatone, who has been courteously criticized by law enforcement, has stood strong in his opinion to leave the banner up. “They’re wrong,” Curtatone said. “It doesn’t inspire violence against police. Promoting our police, and praising our police, and fighting against racism go hand in hand.”

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Doesn’t inspire violence against police? Recent violent protests, vandalism, and ambush attacks against cops by the BLM movement would suggest otherwise.

These banners may not promote violence against cops, but shouldn’t police in Somerville feel that their mayor has their back?