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Boston Protests Cost More Than $2M In Police Overtime

BOSTON (CBS) - The volume of protest continues to rise in Boston and beyond. With it the cost of policing demonstrators who've been largely peaceful, but at times have tried to shut down major roads and highways.

"Our objective is that black people in Boston live and be free," said Seneca Joyner, a protest organizer with the group "Black Lives Matter". "If that isn't convenient that is unfortunate that people are troubled by it."

Troubled by the numbers which means $1.5 million in overtime for Boston police. Massachusetts State Police have spent $510,891 in overtime costs for three demonstrations, including one this weekend where 23 people were arrested.

Seneca Joyner was among them and says the protests will continue. "To say that there's an expiration date on liberty is nonsense," she said. It's an outcry over the deaths of two unarmed black men in Missouri and New York, and some questioning police tactics in Boston.

When protesters marched two weeks ago from Davis Square in Somerville through Cambridge it cost the City of Somerville about $3,000 in overtime. Mayor Joseph Curtatone says it's less about the money and more about an opportunity. "These recent events are so shocking to our consciousness it allows us the opportunity, and requires us to examine how we do things."

The same demonstration cost Cambridge about $15,000 which the department says is difficult to get back. "That's less overtime for other programs we do later in the year. It could affect kids programs and sports programs we participate in, something our town fathers need to start thinking about," said Cambridge Police Deputy Jack Albert.

No one is sure of the resolution, leading Reverend William Dickerson to say it's time to talk. "The end game comes about when there's time for sitting down with local officials with regard to moving things forward," he said.


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