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Jul 28, 2016 12:44 AM

Police protest Black Lives Matter banner at city hall

The Associated Press

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) — Police in Massachusetts are protesting a mayor's refusal to remove a Black Lives Matter banner that's hanging over city hall.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone has declined repeated requests by the city police officers' union to replace the banner with one that reads "All Lives Matter." The banner has been up for nearly a year.

Union president Michael McGrath says the union supports the "core goal" of the Black Lives Matter movement, but believes the current banner sends an "exclusionary message" and is "disrespectful" to officers. He says union members and other officers from around the state will hold a rally Thursday evening.

The Democratic mayor says standing up for black residents and supporting police aren't mutually exclusive. He notes the city also honors officers recently slain in Texas and Louisiana with a banner over police headquarters.

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