Culture

Boston Police Probe This Viral Video Of An Off-Duty Officer Confronting A Pedestrian

This WCVB 5 Boston news clip arrives in the wake of witness footage, which shows an off-duty Boston cop roughing up a pedestrian. You can see the original video (from a few days ago) at the bottom of this post, but be warned that it is somewhat disturbing. Yet the subject serves as a reminder of the excessive police force that continues to occur throughout the United States. Even in the age of omnipresent cell phones and police car dash cams, these incidents pop up on a regular basis, which is mind boggling to say the least.

The original footage was captured by Stephen Harlowe, who spoke with reporters about how the unidentified off-duty cop asserted his profession after he’s seen pushing a pedestrian into the ground. The clip doesn’t show the moments that led up to this confrontation, but Harlowe says the officer slammed the other man’s head into the sidewalk. The cop claims that the pedestrian jaywalked and then cracked his windshield. Yet Harlowe insists that there was no damage to the officer’s vehicle. In addition, the pedestrian asserts that he was cut off by the cop’s off-duty car, and he merely tapped the windshield with his umbrella and left a smudge.

During the video, the cop drags the pedestrian off the ground and yanks him down the street before calling for backup. The officer declines to identify himself, and attending police would not take statements from any witnesses. Speaking to Fox 25 WFXT, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh calls the video “disturbing,” but then makes a bizarre statement: “I mean, nobody should be trying to hit a car or damaging a car in the street is all.”

After the clip circulated like mad, the Boston PD triggered an internal affairs investigation, although the matter is complicated by the officer’s refusal to gather witness accounts. Here’s the original video clip from Harlowe’s Facebook account.

(Via MyFoxBoston & Boston Globe)

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