Civil rights

91-year-old civil rights activist stabbed in Boston Park

BOSTON (AP) — A 91-year-old civil rights activist and education advocate was stabbed multiple times while walking her dog in a Boston park, authorities said.

Jean McGuire, the first black woman to serve on the Boston school board, was stabbed in Franklin Park around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said Wednesday after visiting McGuire at the hospital.

McGuire’s stabbing, as well as the recent fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in the city, is unacceptable, said Hayden, whose family has been close to McGuire for years.

“I’m certainly outraged, and I think we need to get to the point where we have an entire community that’s equally outraged and won’t tolerate this kind of random violence anymore,” he said.

The good news is that McGuire is “as brave and buoyant as ever and will be fine, praise the Lord,” he said.

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McGuire’s sister, Jeriline Brady McGinnis, told multiple outlets that her sister has been walking dogs in the park for decades.

“What did he want? Dog walkers do not carry cash. We carry poop bags and ID. That’s all he will get. Unless he feels the need to beat up someone who is helpless,” McGuire’s sister told WFXT-TV.

McGuire was unconscious when officers found her. She was taken to hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, police said in a statement.

“I am disgusted and angry to know that an elder in our community had to fear for her safety while going about her daily business, walking her dog,” Mayor Michelle Wu said.

The suspect is still at large but may have been injured in the attack, police said.

In addition to being the first black woman to serve on the school board, where she served for a decade beginning in 1981, McGuire in 1966 helped found METCO, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, which sends students of color in Boston’s predominantly white suburbs. schools. She became the program’s executive director in 1973 and served in that role until 2016, according to a biography published by Northeastern University.

Milly Arbaje-Thomas, the current president and CEO of METCO, called McGuire a trailblazer.

“We are all very saddened by this news, very shocked,” she said. “She is a woman who has dedicated her life to equality in education.”

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