Boston police caught on camera attacking protestors: ‘I wanna hit this a–hole’
Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross issued a statement announcing an internal affairs investigation
Newly surfaced footage of Boston police officers pepper spraying citizens who were protesting police brutality in light of the death of George Floyd in May have been leaked.
According to TMZ, the incident occurred in the Boston Commons public park where officers attempted to break up the large crowd.
In the nearly three-minute clip, officers were seen striking a protester with a billy club to their chest while another cop who is seen pepper-spraying protesters said, “I got a little left, I wanna hit this a–hole. I wanna hit this kid.”
At the beginning of the video, one officer was heard bragging about hitting people with his squad car. The officer over the bodycam then moved away from him when he realized it captured the conversation, saying, “This thing is on!”
The Boston Police Department released an official statement on Friday from Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross which mentions that an internal affairs investigation is underway.
“As soon as these videos were brought to my attention, I immediately ordered my Bureau of Professional Standards to open and conduct a thorough and fair investigation into this matter, and the totality of circumstances involved,” Gross said in the statement.
“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. I want to encourage people to bring these matters to our attention so that we can investigate them appropriately.”
ABC News reports that at the May 31 demonstration, 53 people were arrested, 18 were hospitalized and nine officers endured injuries. Alleged vandalism in the area is what reportedly prompted the officers’ presence.
Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement in response to the footage he said was “difficult to watch” on Friday and is expecting answers from the investigation, as reported by Boston.com.
“This footage is difficult to watch, and begs answers to many questions that I expect to be answered through an Internal Affairs investigation. We never want to see police officers using more force than necessary, even when tensions are high,” Walsh said.
“These types of situations are also exactly why we are implementing body-worn cameras for all police officers, and why we convened a police reform task force committed to bringing necessary reforms and accountability to the police department. We remain optimistic that through the reforms we are instituting, such as the Internal Affairs Oversight Panel for the Boston Police Department and in our review of the Office of Police Accountability language, that we will bring to life the reforms we know are needed.”
In June, Walsh pledged to cut $12 million from the police budget via executive order after declaring racism as a public health crisis in the city of Boston.
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