Fiorentini Calls for Calm Following Election Results; Police Diffuse Potentially ‘Difficult Situation’

Haverhill Police arrive Saturday morning at White’s Corner in downtown Haverhill to head off tensions between two different political groups. (Jarvi Productions photograph for WHAV News.)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini says he is “concerned” about the emotions and passion surrounding today’s presidential election and urges people to remain calm no matter the outcome.

The mayor said when the election is over, roughly half the city will be unhappy.

“I’m going to ask everybody to take it in stride. This is a democracy. This is how it works. If your side loses, dust yourself off and live to fight another day,” he said.

As if to provide backing for those worries, Haverhill Police intervened Saturday morning when tensions rose between people holding signs supporting President Donald Trump’s re-election and a group purportedly aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement. Fiorentini, present at White’s Corner in downtown Haverhill, said he was unsuccessful in his efforts to reduce anxieties.

“There was some difficulty between Black Lives Matter and the Trump people. I was there holding a sign for Biden. The Trump people came over and asked me to intervene, which I was happy to do,” he said.

The mayor said he asked the Black Lives Matter group if they would consider moving across the street, but they refused.

“There were two people with a megaphone, standing on the sidewalk where the Trump people were lawfully assembled and holding signs as they have every right to do. This is America. And, there were two people with megaphones yelling at them,” the mayor added.

Fiorentini credits Haverhill Patrolman Bethany MacKinnon with deescalating the situation.

“She came over. She just did a great job in diffusing what I was nervous was going to be a difficult situation,” the mayor said.

The mayor’s apprehensions appear to be shared by Gov. Charlie Baker who activated up to 1,000 Massachusetts National Guard members Monday to ensure Massachusetts “is positioned to maintain public safety following Tuesday’s election.”

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