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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Monday that the investigation into an alleged assault during a weekend march by members of the “Patriot Front” is ongoing, and that police will “press charges” if members of the group who took part in the alleged assault are identified.
“The investigations are ongoing, particularly the civil rights investigation around the brief confrontation that happened right outside Back Bay station as this group was departing,” said Mayor Wu.
That alleged assault happened in the area of Copley Square, as the march by the white supremacist group neared its end on Saturday.
The incident is being investigated by the Boston Police Department’s Civil Rights Unit.
A man told police he was assaulted near Stuart and Dartmouth Streets at around 1:30 p.m. as he encountered the group of men, marching with their faces covered.
“While in the ambulance (victim) reported to police that he was walking down Dartmouth Street while taking out / on his phone when he found himself being shoved around and in the middle of a group of individuals with shields and masks,” according to a Boston Police incident report.
“According to (victim) he yelled at the group to get away from him and to stop pushing him. (Victim) went on to report that he eventually shoved back/swung his arm to separate himself when a larger majority of the group then joined in, knocking him to the ground and continuing to hit and kick him,” according to the report.
“Authorities would press charges if we can sort out the identities of those involved in that altercation towards the end of their time here in Boston,” said Mayor Wu on Monday.
The mayor called the group “unwelcome visitors.”
“It is insulting to the City of Boston, especially in a moment when we lift up our role in fighting for equality, liberty for every single person,” said the mayor. “Boston, given our history, given the national attention that we get, does become a little bit of a platform for that. So, we are in touch with community groups and law enforcement across the city, state, and federal level to ensure that we’re prepared for today and just monitoring the situation.”
“We are taking this very seriously from a safety perspective, but we know this is a community that rejects all of that” said the mayor.
There were no arrests during the march by the group on Saturday.
The mayor said this visit was different than the group’s recent visit to Idaho, where 31 members were arrested near a pride event in June.
“Here it was an unexpected and unannounced drop-in, and our authorities were very quickly alerted,” said Mayor Wu on Monday. “BPD was on the scene and making sure that there was a presence in the area, but they left very quickly and were not headed to any specific event, so there weren’t arrests made in that same way.”
“We know that this really is not about any single group but a trend that we see pushing back against the vision of America that we stand for and that the City of Boston stands for.” said the mayor. “We are truly a city for everyone, and we will continue to do that work and not be intimidated by anyone who wants to come into town with their political ideologies and try to threaten or intimidate us.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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