Boston Pride reverses marshal selection after Woburn cop's 'offensive' Facebook posts
Woburn police officer Anthony Imperioso criticized after sharing harsh words for Black Lives Matter protesters.
A Woburn police officer will not serve as a marshal in the 2016 Boston Pride Parade after comments he made on Facebook recently came to light, parade organizers said Monday.
The honor for Anthony Imperioso, who is listed as the president of the New England Gay Officers Action League, “has been withdrawn,” Boston Pride wrote in a statement.
The move comes after many users on Twitter blasted Pride for choosing the officer for the role and shared pictures from his Facebook page of posts that include harsh words for Black Lives Matter protesters who blocked Interstate 93 in 2015.
In the statement released Monday afternoon, Boston Pride called Imperioso’s comments “offensive” and said his “marshalship has been withdrawn” following a discussion between the organization and the police officer.
“As an inclusive organization, Boston Pride does not condone any language that is intolerant of racial, ethnic, or religious differences. Additionally, we reject language that promotes violence towards any individuals who are exercising their First Amendment rights,” the statement reads.
A petition had also called on Pride to rescind Imperioso’s status as a marshal.
On his Facebook page, Imperioso called the I-93 protesters “very unpatriotic anti- American trash.”
He also posted that the protesters’ addresses had been made public and encouraged his followers to “check them out.”
In another post, he wrote: “Maybe we patriotic Americans should start protesting welfare offices and blocking those entrances then these lazy illiterates will go away. Oh and by the way the police need to start locking all of those people up”
He also shared the link to a story accusing the media of overlooking black-on-white crime and a story about a woman who confronted a Muslim leader at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Imperioso also “liked” comments from friends on his page, including one suggesting it “would be better if the protesters got tazed” or “used as target practice with rubber bullets.”
Boston Pride in its statement also wrote that it “apologizes for the lack of vetting that occurred in the Marshal nomination process this year” and said it would review that process.
The organization did not say in its statement which of Imperioso’s posts it deemed offensive.
Imperioso, the Woburn Police Department and New England GOAL did not immediately respond to requests for comment.