The Harvard Black Law Students Association has released a statement after reports broke that a Black male student was brutally assaulted by Cambridge police officers.

According to the statement from the Harvard Black Law Students Association, students are calling for the Cambridge officers to be fired for failing to act appropriately to help a Harvard student that appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis.

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Part of the statement described the brutal attack:

“A naked, unarmed Black man stood still on the median at the center of Massachusetts Avenue across from Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church. He was surrounded by at least four Cambridge Police Department (CPD) officers who, without provocation, lunged at him, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. While on the ground, at least one officer repeatedly punched the student in his torso as he screamed for help. The officers held him to the ground until paramedics arrived, placed him on a stretcher, and put him in the ambulance. A pool of blood remained on the pavement as the ambulance departed.”

The statement also referenced the Cambridge police department’s history of bias:

“The Bost and Cambridge Police Departments are no different than those in the rest of the country. Accordign to the ACLU, 63% of police stops in Boston between 2007 and 2010 targeted Black residents, even though Black residents make up less than 25% of the population. As of 2015, the Boston Police Department (BPD) had spent approximately $36 million to settle lawsuits, most of which were tied to wrongful convictions and police misconduct.”

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The group of students are demanding action be taken immediately:

“We demand that he officers who assaulted this man while wss naked, fully subdued and bleeding on the ground be fired without paid leave.

We demand that Harvard University create an internal crisis response team to support students, faculty, and staff that doesn not involve CPD.”

They are also calling from the CPD to “radically alter their protocols for response to community crisis and policies around use of force.”

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