D.C. transit police investigating Taser of unarmed Black man after video goes viral
A video of transit police applying a taser to an unarmed Black man who was questioning why they were engaging with a group of teenagers has gone viral and spurred an internal probe
A harrowing video in which a police officer on a Washington D.C. subway platform pushes an unarmed Black man as he’s got his hands out to his sides, holds a Taser to him and nearly pushes him onto the tracks has gone viral.
In fact, the video has been so widely viewed that the Metro Transit Police Department has announced its decision to open an internal investigation.
The man involved in the incident attempted was attempting to intervene as two officers on the city’s Metro subway system questioned juveniles on a platform, NBC Washington reports. As the man asks the officers questions, a third officer approaches the man, pushes him back and, after the man raises his hands, applies a Taser.
At one point, one of the original officers holds the man down while the third officer applies his Taser and then pushes the man so far and hard he nearly rolls onto the tracks.
The incident took place at Washington’s U Street Metro station near downtown. After video of the incident sparked widespread outrage on social media, the police agency announced via Twitter that it was opening an internal investigation.
“We take use-of-force matters seriously, and we are committed to fostering the public’s trust in us,” the agency tweeted, adding details of the Saturday evening incident.
According to the agency, police were responding to a call regarding disorderly juveniles when they “briefly detained … several juveniles pointed out by witnesses.”
Police did not identify a crime victim and released the juveniles into the care of their parents and/or guardians when the incident kicked off.
“An adult male patron who was not involved in the original incident allegedly began interfering with the police incident and – according to an officer’s report – exhibited behavior consistent with preparing to fight the officer,” the statement claimed.
After the man allegedly “disregarded warnings to move back,” the officer deployed his Taser and took the man into custody, according to the statement.
Once the video hit social media, outrage poured out from all over.
Black Lives Matter of the Washington metropolitan area tweeted to Mayor Muriel Bowser and Kevin Donahue, deputy mayor for public safety and justice, calling their attention to the incident.
“You all OK with the criminalization of Black children and innocent person getting treated like an animal for trying to de-escalate and keep Black children safe?” Black Lives Matter DC tweeted. “This @MetroTransitPD Cop need (sic) to be FIRED.”