An officer in the Boston Police Department has been placed on administrative leave after high school students say he called them racial slurs when responding to a noise complaint.
Students at the Roxbury Prep High School stated the officer pushed them while at a McDonald’s near the school on September 13 and called them “monkeys” and the N-word, according to The Boston Globe.
The officer has been identified by media reports as Joseph Lynch.
Upon his arrival at the fast-food chain, the officer is stated to have followed the students back to the school campus, where he would become more aggressive by pushing them and hurling the racial slurs.
Police Commissioner William Gross and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins visited Roxbury Prep on Thursday to speak with students.
Rollins told the students are now “feeling attacked and racialized and dehumanized” after the encounter with Officer Lynch.
Roxbury Prep issued a statement confirming the incident, with both students and staff coming forward to “express deep concern about the officer’s behavior, both in terms of his actions and language.”
“These allegations are incredibly disturbing coming from anyone, and especially from a police officer,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “No one should experience racism or discrimination, not in a place of learning and not anywhere. We have to be better. I commend Boston Police for taking action as soon as they were made aware of the allegations, and I am confident they will investigate this case to its full extent.”
According to the Daily News, Lynch was placed on leave and an internal affairs investigation was launched.