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LETTER: Which Black Lives Matter?


The following is a letter to the editor from Dennis Galvin. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]

On a cold dark night in March 2015, Boston Police Officer John Moynihan approached a car containing three suspected gang members on a Roxbury Street. All three happened to be African American.  One of the suspected gang members was Angelo West, a hardened criminal, who terrorized the Humboldt Avenue section of Boston for many years.  As Moynihan got to the front door of the vehicle, Angelo West jumped out of the car, directly in front of him, pulled a gun from his coat, and shot Moynihan in the face critically wounding him. West then engaged other officers in a gun battle in which he was eventually killed.

Within minutes of West’s death, a hostile crowd assembled within the African American neighborhood and began taunting and challenging the officers who had just brought down West.  Cries of “hands up don’t shoot”  began to echo louder and louder, waking the entire neighborhood.  The crowd began to swell.  Boston Police Superintendent William Gross courageously confronted the crowd absorbing insults and accusations of “police murder” and “cover-up”.  Members of the Boston Chapter of Black Lives Matter began to assemble on scene, demanding explanations, as taunts of “murder” began to increase. Moynihan and the other officers were eventually exonerated in this shooting.

There is a very sad irony to this story.  In the car with West on the night of the shooting was another career criminal by the name of Bizzy “Bizz” Bain.   Bain like West has a long record for weapons offenses and violence.  He was not shot or charged in the March 2015 incident.  Since the West shooting, Bain has been in an out of courts for violent offenses and never seems to go to jail. Boston Police now say, that a few weeks ago, Bizzy “Bizz” Bain and another accomplice lay in wait outside of the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Boston.   Someone inside the school pulled a fire alarm.  As the students and teachers filed into the street, Bain and his accomplice opened fired.  Four people were hit, one was a 67 year old women, and another, 17 year old Raekwon Brown was killed.

No angry crowd showed up for Raekwon Brown, demanding justice for his murder.  The only person, who publicly vocalized anger over his killing was his sister Latasha Allen who demanded that Bain and his accomplice remove hoods they were wearing during their arraignment, so people could see who they were.  Officer Moynihan almost died trying to take Bain off the street.  Some community members smeared him, calling him a murderer.  No one it seems connected the dots. If Moynihan had been supported, maybe Raekwon Brown would be alive today.  Most significant is the fact that in the wake of Brown’s murder, Black Lives Matter was nowhere to be found, prompting the question which black lives really matter ?