The “Black Lives Matter Boston” group excluded white people from a forum earlier this week to discuss the shooting of Angelo West.
The Black Lives Matter group posted on Facebook Saturday that “tomorrow’s community meeting will be a People of Color ONLY space. Thank you for respecting the wishes of community and Angelo West’ family.”
Police killed Angelo West after he shot Officer John Moynihan in the face. Moynihan is recovering at Boston Medical Center.
The Black Lives Matter group describes itself as being “committed to being active in the movement against racist policing and police violence both locally and nationally.”
The shooting of Officer Moynihan was not West’s first incident with the police. In 2001, West fired on police officers as they attempted to disarm him. According to the police, West repeatedly said, “Shoot me. I don’t care.”
West was ultimately charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and firearms charges.
According to CBS Boston, due to West’s previous criminal convictions — assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm, and drug dealing within a school zone — prosecutors wanted to convict West under the Armed Career Criminal statute. Conviction would have meant a mandatory 15-20 year sentence; however, the Armed Career Criminal sentence was ultimately not pursued. Instead, West received a 10-year sentence in 2003.
Daunasia Yancey, an organizer for the Black Lives Matter Boston group, told the Boston Herald the chapter has not yet taken a position on the West shooting. She said a formal position will be released soon, along with any protest plans.
Joao DePina, who attended the Black Lives Matter event, stated “I came in here to basically say to them we can’t jump on this issue and automatically say the police are wrong.”
DePina disagreed with the exclusion of white people.
“We’re segregating our own selves,” he said. “How can you have a meeting and say, ‘I don’t want white people in it?’ There’s plenty of white people that are behind our issues and our matters, so how can you close the door?”
Yancey told the Boston Herald the white supporters of the Black Lives Matter initiative did not feel alienated by the event’s exclusion of white people. They “respected the community and how they want to be supported.”