Boston police body cam video captures un-named police officer bragging hitting protesters with a car during BLM demonstrations. Cache of released videos exposes police behavior.
Disconcert has come to the fore after an un-named Boston police officer was captured on body cam video bragging about hitting protesters with a car during a Black Lives Matter demonstration over the summer.
The uniformed sergeant was on duty during the racial justice march on the evening of May 31 and morning of June 1 when he approaches an officer wearing a camera.
The white officer, who is wearing riot gear, is seen ‘enthusiastically’ describing how he got into an unmarked police vehicle near Boston Common that was surrounded by protesters.
‘I’m f***ing hitting people with the car,’ the officer says, laughing.
He is abruptly cut off by his colleague walking away before he returns and says ‘it’s on’, appearing to refer to the camera.
‘Did I just accidentally confess on camera?’
The officer backtracks and says: ‘Oh no no no… I didn’t hit anybody, just driving, that’s all.’
His colleague apologizes and replies: ‘This thing just f***ing went on automatically.’
The officer who made the comment has been placed on leave and the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk district attorney’s office have opened investigations into police actions. The investigation follows lawyers for arrested protesters submitting ‘disturbing’ video challenging the legality of arrests while ‘exposing’ dubious police behavior.
The cited footage was taken from one of 44 body cam videos, featuring 66 hours of video, released from that night the Boston Globe reports.
‘Start spraying the fuckers,’
They show officers beating crowds with batons, pepper spraying at close range and using foul language amid skirmishes during George Floyd protests, accusing police of racism and brutality.
Some of the videos also appear to show officers enjoying pepper-spraying protesters. ‘Start spraying the fuckers,’ an officer can be heard saying in a video. In another video one officer says. ‘I want to hit this asshole’ as he gestured toward the crowd. ‘I want to hit this kid.’
Protesters described how the police turned the city into a ‘war zone’ by barricading them in and attacking peaceful attendees.
Many officers wore body cameras. During the unrest, the cameras recorded hours of footage that the department subsequently stored.
The footage was released to attorney Carl Williams, who is representing some of the protestors arrested, pro-bono through The National Lawyers Guild.
The adjunct professor at Cornell Law released them via The Appeal on December 18, saying that it demonstrated the police’s ‘mob mentality’.
He said: ‘…I use “mob” as a sort of a double entendre – mob like the mafia and mob like a group of a pack of wild people roaming the streets looking to attack people.’
He added: ‘This is not law enforcement. That’s not what they’re doing right there in the streets, ganging up on people using weaponry.’
‘And they’re enjoying it,’ he added.
Who are the good cops?
Boston Police Commissioner William J Gross said on Friday that the Bureau of Professional Standards had opened an investigation.
‘I have placed a Sergeant involved in this incident on administrative leave and I will take any additional action as necessary at the conclusion of the investigation’, he added.
Mayor Martin Walsh called the videos ‘difficult to watch’.
On Friday Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called for a full investigation into the incidents which she called ‘disturbing and inexcusable’.
In a statement she said: ‘This callous behavior further stresses the importance of advancing police reform in our state, particularly when it comes to use of force standards and accountability. We need a full investigation into what happened that night to hold accountable anyone who acted unlawfully.’
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said that the videos had been sent to her special prosecution team.