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Estimated cops overtime pay for recent protest tops $2 million

Protests in Boston on Saturday.(Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Authorities put a price on freedom of expression, Monday, saying it cost Massachusetts law enforcement an estimated $2 million in overtime pay to deal with the recent spate of demonstrations.

The cost of the large Boston-area protests that occurred between Nov. 24, Dec. 4 and Dec. 13, topped $510,000, Manhattan State Police told Metro.

The recent demonstrations were in response to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s office, meanwhile, acknowledged that the city’s initial estimates the police overtime during those protests was in the neighborhood of $1.5 million.

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State Police spokesman David Procopio declined to say how many troopers were assigned to each of those protests, only saying there were “several dozen” at each demonstration.

Boston Police also declined to say how many police were used at the protests, citing unspecified public safety reasons. That department was appropriated $32.75 million for overtime pay in fiscal year 2014.

At Saturday’s protest, which attracted thousands, police arrested 23 people to prevent them from blocking Rte 93. Those arrested are expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday and Wednesday.

 
 
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