The brutal beating of a 21-year-old Black undergraduate student, Selorm Ohene, in a seven-minute shocking video has now gone viral.
Ohene was charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, assault, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on an ambulance worker.
"I absolutely do support the officers. But, once again I am making no determinations prior to completing a thorough investigation".
According to police, a woman originally called Harvard University Health Services to report that Ohene had stripped himself of his clothes and had thrown them at her. HUHS then transferred the call to Cambridge police.
Police say officers were called Friday night after receiving reports of a naked man standing on a traffic island.
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A later CPD police report states the officers tackled the undergraduate after he made aggressive moves toward law enforcement.
The Cambridge Police Department tweeted about the incident on Saturday morning, but didn't note that any misconduct or violence had occurred while the arrest was being conducted.
Asked why the student has been charged if the incident involves concerns over the undergraduate's mental health, Bard said the department is now working to decide whether the student's situation means he would be better served by "means other than the criminal justice system".
Two officers were treated at a hospital for minor injuries and unprotected exposure to body fluids, police said. "When confrontations can not be averted and include the use of physical force, we must be willing to review our actions to ensure that our police officers are providing the highest level of safety for all". They also called for police to respect people's First Amendment right to record video of police activity.
The incident happened Friday night, and after viewing footage of the arrest on Sunday, McGovern released a statement, saying that while "Cambridge affirms Black Lives Matter", the slogan "must be true in practice as well". That goes on for some time, with the officers at arm's length at least.
Bard said that, in an "ideal" world, the officers would have engaged "verbally only" with the student.
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"What is shown on the video is disturbing", McGovern continued. "There's a lot of stuff going on". In fact, an officer struck Ohene five times in the torso, according to the police report. He still would not allow the officers to handcuff him, so one officer "delivered approximately 5 strikes with a closed fists to the area of his stomach". As we previously noted, use of force was required in order to effectuate the male's arrest. "It's a very hard thing to do". The commissioner said "it's a very hard thing to do" to "constrain an individual against their will".
In the wake of the arrest, some Harvard students have questioned whether University procedures were properly followed during the incident. "We will not have further comment until such time as necessary". Some of the students say they witnessed the event and said it was an unprovoked attack on Ohene. "Because it would be a clear violation of policy". A pool of blood remained on the pavement as the ambulance departed.
Bard said at the press conference he is unsure whether the blood on the ground stemmed from injuries the student suffered during the altercation. There were about 30 onlookers during the incident, police said. Bard said his department is attempting to operate in an equitable manner.
"This department is going through great strides to ensure it is a socially just agency".
Warnick said the department is planning to announce new units that "are going to address procedural justice and social policing" some time in the coming months and weeks.
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