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Berklee College of Music apologizes for allowing Boston police to use restrooms during protest

Roger H. Brown, longtime president of Berklee College of Music, apologized to the campus community.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Leaders at the Berklee College of Music have apologized for allowing Boston police to use restrooms at the campus concert hall as violence erupted on city streets following peaceful protests against the killings of Black Americans on May 31.

The decision by Berklee Public Safety staff to allow officers staged at Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street to use the Berklee Performance Center’s restrooms was “not a formal decision by the institution, but an informal one, made on the spot,” Berklee President Roger H. Brown, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Mac Hisey, and Police Chief David Ransom said in a statement posted to Facebook Wednesday night.


“Some have asked if the campus was used to house or stage activity of the Boston Police; it was not,” they added.

Representatives for the college did not immediately respond to a request for further comment Wednesday evening.

The officials said members of the campus community have expressed anger, pain, and a feeling of betrayal because police were given access to the building, particularly because the concert hall is closed to students due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Allowing police officers into the space was in no way meant to undermine Berklee’s support for Black Lives Matter,” Brown, Hisey, and Ransom said in the statement.

They said the officers should not have been allowed to use the restrooms, and that police would not be permitted to do so in the future.

“We are deeply sorry for the impact this had on our community and for perpetuating feelings of oppression, silencing, and marginalization,” they said. “We will make a more concerted effort to consider the effects of our actions.”

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.