Multiple groups of police officers in Boston took a knee Tuesday night to show solidarity with those who are protesting the deaths of Black people at the hands of the police.
In one instance around 9 p.m., some officers who were stationed outside Boston police headquarters at 1 Schroeder Plaza dropped to their knees.
Video captured by WCVB showed one — Officer Kim Tavares — walking up to the barricade to give protesters high fives before taking a knee herself.
Protests have racked the nation, including in the Boston area, in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Earlier in the evening Tuesday, thousands converged on Franklin Park to stage a “die-in” and vigil in honor of Floyd and others who have suffered police brutality.
Mostly peaceful protests continued in Boston after the event ended, with a group crowding in front of barricades near the Boston police headquarters.
“Today, we let them have a peaceful protest,” Tavares told a WCVB reporter afterwards, speaking about the event at Franklin Park. “We want you to be able to voice your opinion. All police officers don’t think the same. Black lives do matter. When you have stuff like this, you still have to show them love.”
Even as Tavares, a Black woman, was heckled by some protesters, she took off her police cap as she told a TV news crew, “I came out here with no helmet on. I wasn’t worried about anyone throwing anything at me, because there’s a way that you present yourself. And the last group that came here, all they wanted to do was voice their opinion.”
Tavares’s name might sound familiar: She has served as a spokeswoman for Boston police, and she also made headlines after a video of her singing “America the Beautiful” went viral in April.
About an hour later, shortly after 10 p.m., about a dozen Boston police officers — some clad in riot gear, face shields, and camouflage — again took a knee outside police headquarters and raised their fists, as protesters erupted in cheers and applauded. They stayed on their knees for what seemed to be several minutes before standing back up.
A WCVB reporter at the scene called it a “remarkable sight” while describing it live on air.
Separately on Tuesday night, another group of officers knelt with protesters to show their solidarity.
After surrounding police for more than an hour outside of Forest Hills Station, a group of the officers eventually left the area, leaving behind just a handful of police in heavier gear holding shields and wearing black vests and helmets.
As the crowd formed around them — the police with their backs against the glass windows of the station — protesters started chanting, “Take a knee! Take a knee!”
At least several of the officers knelt on the ground, resting their hands on top of their shields for a few moments. The crowd erupted with cheers, and some demonstrators yelled “thank you!” while others exchanged handshakes with the police.