Black Lives Matter Protesters Avoid Jail for Blocking Freeway, Won’t Apologize to Elderly Ambulance Patient

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“We understood that there would be consequences of this action. But we are neither remorseful nor grateful.”

The Boston Herald reports that ten of the unrepentant Black Lives Matter protesters who blocked traffic on the I-93 last January and forced an ambulance carrying a seriously injured elderly man to reroute to a more distant hospital, were let off with community service instead of jail time.

Quincy District Court Judge Mark Coven accepted guilty pleas from the protesters – seven men and three women ranging in ages from 25 to 44 – for willfully impeding an emergency vehicle during the January 15, 2015, protest. The protestors had chained themselves to barrels full of concrete, preventing octogenarian Richard McGrath, who had been in a serious car accident, from getting to the Boston Medical Center. The ambulance was diverted to Brockton Hospital instead.

Prosecutor Darcy Currey said the protesters endangered lives and asked for time behind bars “for those defendants to realize the severity of their actions… Some time is necessary.” But Coven, after hearing an impact statement read by McGrath’s daughter, said to the defendants, “I’m not going to incarcerate you today and I hope you learn from this experience.” The defendants instead were sentenced to six months unsupervised probation and 60 hours community service.

After the hearing, Black Lives Matter spokesman Noah McKenna of Boston refused to apologize to McGrath’s family. “We understood that there would be consequences of this action. But we are neither remorseful nor grateful,” McKenna said, noting that the “real story” is systemic violence against blacks.

The other protesters who pled guilty are James Billman of Brookline, Eli Cohen of Somerville, William Connolly of Hanson, Emily Osmum of Somerville, Mark Schwaller of Jamaica Plain, Nicole Sullivan of Somerville, Brett West of Boston, Angela Davis of Somerville and Joshua Nickel of Roslindale.

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