(NewsNation Now) — The Boston police sergeant who is leading a protest against the city’s vaccine mandate says that if fellow protestors called the city’s mayor “Hitler,” then it’s their “First Amendment right” to do so.
When Marni Hughes, who was filling in for Joe Donlon, asked if Shana Cottone condoned that rhetoric from people she protests with, Cottone said she didn’t hear those chants herself but wouldn’t deny they happened.
“We can’t control people’s speech,” Cottone said on NewsNation’s “The Donlon Report” on Monday. “It may be ugly speech, but that is their their First Amendment right.”
Cottone has gained attention for a video posted on YouTube in which she berates fellow Boston officers who are trying to enforce the vaccine mandate as she and a group of other women ate and drank at a restaurant after a protest.
She calls the officers a “disgrace” in the video.
On “The Donlon Report,” she accused Mayor Michelle Yu of going back on her word about how the mandate would be enforced.
“The mayor said, ‘Don’t worry, the police aren’t going to be involved,'” Cottone said. “But that’s proving to not be true on day one.”
The officer said the manager was the one protesting her presence in the restaurant.
Cottone is on unpaid leave after she did not show proof of receiving at least one dose of the vaccine by this past weekend, the Boston Herald reports.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has defended her mandate, calling it “based on the needs of our health care system to end this pandemic.”
Cottone noted on “The Donlon Report” that the vaccinated are still getting sick from the omicron variant. She is pleading with Wu to “please have a heart.”