‘We are not babysitters’: BPD Commissioner asks people to ‘parent their children’ amid violence

BOSTON — It was a weekend of violence and unrest in Boston.

In Dorchester, nine people were shot over two days during the annual Caribbean festival. Responding officers said in their report that around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, as officers began to walk towards rival gang members on Talbot Avenue, gunfire erupted.

In South Bay, dozens of juveniles were involved in disturbances at the shopping center.

In downtown, multiple juveniles were arrested for fights and disruptions at Downtown Crossing, and near the AMC Theatre on Boston Common.

For Boston Police, all weekend long it was all hands on, and on this Monday after the violence, Boston’s Police Commissioner is frustrated.

“We are not babysitters, we are not built for that. We enforce laws. We need other people to parent their children,” BPD Commissioner Michael Cox said at an afternoon news conference.

At Dorchester District Court, it was a busy day, as suspects were arraigned on charges related to nine shootings.

At the Boys and Girls Club, three of the agency’s vans were damaged, with one of them shot, and two of them vandalized.

It’s a tough day for the Boys and Girls Club as local leaders try to carry on its mission.

“People being shot, folks coming out to celebrate, you know, culture and things like this happening,” Boys and Girls Club CEO Robert Lewis Jr. said. “And then it is happening in one of the safest places in our neighborhoods, right in front of a Boys and Girls Club, that is representative of families, communities, and the best of our neighborhoods.”

Boston Police say they are working hard to keep the city safe during major cultural events.

But there is frustration that after so much planning, violence and disturbance still broke out across the city.

“I can’t get in the minds of people who perpetrate these crimes in general,” Cox said. “The fact is we had a visible presence, we were actually there, and they still did it. That is something different.”

“It’s happening more and more in this country, in general, particularly around guns,” he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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