Vigil held to support, pray for police after attacks on Boston officers

BOSTON — Boston clergy members and police officers gathered for a vigil in Dorchester Wednesday night following an alarming rash of violence against police.

On Tuesday, Boston police say they spent hours trying to peacefully talk a barricaded man out of a Dorchester home when he suddenly fired at officers, sending three to the hospital. Police returned fire, killing the suspect. The officers’ injuries are not life-threatening.

Last Saturday, a Boston police officer was stabbed in the neck while responding to a domestic violence call in Dorchester. The suspect was fatally shot by police. The wounded officer is expected to recover.

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“We are here to thank God for the discipline and restraint exercised by the Boston Police Department,” said Rev. Eugene Rivers outside St. Peter Parish. “We stand in solidarity with them. We stand shoulder to shoulder. We recognize on certain occasions we will not always agree. And when we don’t agree, we’re going to have a civil discussion.”

Officers who gathered for the event appreciate the support but know their relationship with some in the community needs improvement.

“There’s this narrative that police are out there killing people, and that’s just not the case. It’s a bold, outright lie,” said Boston Police Sgt. Eddy Chrispin. “And I think it’s important that we reaffirm the good work we do. And there’s room for improvement, but we do the good work that no one else wants to deal with.”

Grand Rabbi Y. A. Korff, chaplain for the city of Boston, said combating the violence begins with teaching youth respect at an early age.

“It starts in the home, and it starts in the schools with the children,” Korff said. “They need to be raised to understand – remember the old [saying] ‘The policeman is my friend’? We need to get back to some of that.”

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