Hundreds gather at vigil for boy hurt in alleged racially motivated assaultBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
September 13. 2017 12:13AM
CLAREMONT — Hundreds gathered at Broad Street Park Tuesday evening for a prayer and reflection service in the aftermath of a reported racially motivated assault on an 8-year-old Claremont boy.
Teens allegedly called him racial slurs and then forced him to jump off a table with a rope around his neck on Aug. 28.
“I want everyone to know this unfortunate event that happened — it’s not representative of Claremont,” City Manager Ryan McNutt said when he took to the podium. “But it is absolutely something that we must address.
Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase also addressed the crowd, saying that it takes a village to address bias and racism before they reach the level of criminal action.
Chase said as police chief, he must investigate these crimes thoroughly and address bias when he sees it.
“If we continue to ignore it, not necessarily wait till the police are involved because there’s a victim of a crime — you see something you need to take action,” Chase said.
Area religious leaders also spoke and led the crowd in prayer and a moment of silence.
Black Lives Matter activist Olivia Lapierre of White River Junction, Vt., led the crowd in a Black Lives Matter chant that included a chant with the boy’s name.
She also said a gofundme account has been started for the boy and has already raised more than $3,000. The money raised will likely go to his therapy, she said.