scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Mayor Wu has right idea on dealing with violence, police, and responses to emergencies

Boston police investigators were gathered at 29 Ferndale St. in Dorchester on Nov. 10 after three Boston Police officers were shot and a suspect was killed the night before.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

A series of violent incidents this month left two Boston residents dead and four police officers wounded. If we learn anything from these tragedies, it is that we must change the way we talk about violence that occurs after the police have been called.

These events will have lasting and traumatic impact for the loved ones of those who died, the communities where these incidents happened, the officers who were injured, and the city of Boston. Yet the impact of these traumatic events was reduced to a political question in the Globe’s coverage of the incidents (“Shootings may cloud Wu’s plans for police: Promised reform efforts could face more resistance,” Page A1, Nov. 12).


Days before her swearing-in as mayor, Michelle Wu responded to questions about the recent incidents with a reflection on how the city can do more to support youth as well as people returning to their communities after incarceration. We welcome this framing and look forward to hearing more about her plans as details emerge.

Instead of speculating about politics right now, we should be investing in community-based solutions to violence and poverty as well as community-based responses to emergencies involving mental health, substance use disorder, and poverty that hold the potential to prevent events like what happened this month from occurring in the first place.

Ruth Zakarin

Executive director

Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence