A Boston police officer is under fire after being caught on video taunting a Black man who was on his way to a haircut.
The video, which was uploaded to WorldStar Hip Hop, shows the encounter as the plainclothes officer harasses the unidentified Black man and questions him about his job and contributions to society.
The man had apparently just gotten out of his Uber on the way to get his hair cut when he noticed two plainclothes officers watching him. He then took his phone out to record the encounter.
“Why are you bothering me?”
One officer, wearing a Boston Bruins knit cap, then started to question the man. He claimed that the man looked “like someone we want to speak to” and asked for his name.
“You’re not Kevin?” the officer questioned him.
The man refuses to identify himself, at which point an officer gets on either side of him to question him on everything from where he lives to what he does for a living and why he is walking down the street in the first place.
When the man asks the officers, “Why are you bothering me?”, one officer takes out his cell phone to take a picture of the man.
“Your parents proud of you for flipping off the police?” the officer asks.
The man tries to walk away from the situation, at which point the officer taunts him about his contributions to society.
“Have a great day, contributor. What are you doing for work, anything?”
But when the man tries to confront the officer about his harassment, the officer dismisses him with, “Go away. Go away, tough guy.”
It’s sadly pretty much the usual case of “walking while Black,” and it’s not the first time we’ve seen video like this. Thankfully, this time, the harassment was only verbal. But it is further proof of the disconnect between police and the communities that they are supposed to protect.