ALL PHOTOS BY KEIKO HIROMI
Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Newton Police Department on Thursday, then chanted and marched over to Newton City Hall and staged a die-in protest. The action was in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop and police violence everywhere, and was one of several vigils and rallies held in cities and suburbs across Mass this week. At the same day and time, just a few miles away, another sizable crowd gathered in Jamaica Plain with the same reform message.
In one hyperlocal example of police misconduct, Tim Duncan, a former Northeastern University athletic director, went public this week about an experience he had with Newton police less than one week before Floyd’s death. While walking with his wife near his home in the city, officers approached Duncan in their cruisers then drew guns on him, claiming that he fit the physical description of a person they were looking for.
“It’s not okay that just because I’m a tall Black man walking one block from his house, that I’m pulled over and say that I fit a profile of a murder suspect just because he was tall,” Duncan said in a video released on YouTube. “I understand the police have to do their job, trust me, I do. But to roll down on me with guns drawn when I’m walking on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon with my wife is uncalled for.
“And it’s uncalled for that George Floyd had a knee on his neck for eight minutes and … 46 seconds. It’s uncalled for that Ahmaud Arbery was running through a neighborhood. I’m a runner. I run through these neighborhoods all the time, and someone hunted him down and killed him. This stuff has happened way too much.
“I’m pissed. I’m outraged.”