- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) - The mayor of a Massachusetts city says he won’t remove a Black Lives Matter banner hanging over city hall even as police officers from across the state intend to rally against it.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, a Democrat who is white, said Wednesday that standing up for minority residents and supporting police officers aren’t “competing interests.”

He noted the city also has a banner over police headquarters honoring the officers slain in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas in retaliation over police killings of black citizens.

The city police union and other Massachusetts officers plan to rally against the banner Thursday after Curtatone denied an earlier request to replace it with an “All Lives Matter” banner.

The Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition says it opposes the “exclusionary message” the current banner sends.

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