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Mayor Walsh, Governor Baker, Maura Healey react to Boston protests: ‘I see you. I hear you. I will use my voice for you.’

Mayor Martin J. Walsh.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

As demonstrations over George Floyd took a tense turn in Boston Sunday night, Mayor Martin J. Walsh addressed the city in a statement.

“I want to thank the protesters who exercised their right to free speech effectively and peacefully, making sure everyone hears their message,” Walsh wrote in a statement, along with series of tweets. “Tonight’s protests were motivated by a righteous desire for equality, justice, and accountability in our country. I see you. I hear you. I will use my voice for you.”

But he also denounced the violence that swept parts of the city late Sunday.

“I am angered, however, by the people who came into our city and chose to engage in acts of destruction and violence, undermining their message. If we are to achieve change and if we are to lead the change, our efforts must be rooted in peace and regard for our community.”

Walsh concluded by thanking Boston police and officials: “I want to thank the officers of the Boston Police Department and all of the public safety agencies for their professionalism tonight. They are working hard, as they always do, to keep our city safe and treat our residents with respect.”

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Read Walsh’s full statement:

‘I want to thank the protestors who exercised their right to free speech effectively and peacefully, making sure everyone hears their message. Tonight’s protests were motivated by a righteous desire for equality, justice, and accountability in our country. I see you. I hear you. I will use my voice for you. ’

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Walsh issued a statement shortly after midnight saying he would hold a press conference at 12 p.m. on Monday.

Governor Charlie Baker also reacted to Sunday’s protests, calling Floyd’s death “a horrible tragedy” and commending the “vast majority of protesters today” who demonstrated “peacefully, toward a common goal of promoting justice and equality.”

He also thanked officials and first responders who worked “to protect the people of Boston from the individuals whose violent actions, looting, and property destruction was criminal and cowardly – and distracted from the powerful statement made today by thousands of Massachusetts residents.”

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Read Baker’s full statement:

‘The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police was a horrible tragedy – one of countless tragedies to befall people of color across the United States. The vast majority of protesters today did so peacefully, toward a common goal of promoting justice and equality.’

Governor Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also thanked Boston police Sunday for “protecting the protest.”

She said Sunday’s protests shows that “injustice is unshakable," and that “looters” and “instigators” that sought to interfere with the demonstrations would not be successful.

Read Healey’s full statement:

‘George Floyd should be alive. Breonna Taylor should be alive. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive. That injustice is unshakable. Peaceful protesters in Boston showed that today. ’

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey



Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.