Kinari Horton: Shocked at paper’s description of police presence at protest

Published: 6/21/2020 11:00:15 PM

As an attendee of the protest on June 6 in Northampton, I am very disappointed by the nature of the Gazette’s reporting of the police presence that was on display.

Merely stating that “Several other local police agencies as well as the Massachusetts State Police were also present” does not even begin to express the shock and horror I and I imagine many others felt seeing police decked out in full military gear, carrying what appeared to be grenade launchers for tear gas outside the People’s Institute on Gothic Street.

While the protest remained peaceful, the specter of chemical weapons use on a group of unarmed protestors hung over us all, for the police didn’t need to act to remind us that we could face being crushed with overwhelming force at any moment. This disproportionate response is chilling, and serves only one purpose — to make us afraid, and to make us silent.

A group of individuals came out to exercise their right as Americans to engage in peaceful protest, and as a result parts of Northampton looked like they were under military occupation. I believe the real story that should be reported on is why that is the case.

Kinari Horton



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