Concerns on Police Arrest of Harvard Student

Concerns on Police Arrest of Harvard Student

Concerns on Police Arrest of Harvard Student

Ohene, who was standing near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Waterhouse street, was naked. Police say they received approximately six other calls about a naked man, and a police report stated that women who "appeared to be acquaintances" of the man told officers that he had possibly taken a hallucinogenic drug.

The police have defended their response, which is under an internal investigation, though the officers - three from the Cambridge Police Department and one from Transit Police - have not been removed from duty.

Officers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, responded Friday night after receiving seven emergency calls about a man acting erratically, The Washington Post reported. Bard said videos of the event show that the officers standing around the undergraduate attempted to speak with the student "for a long period of time". The primary concern I've addressed this morning focuses on punches (five in total) issued by one of the involved officers after the suspect was on the ground.

"It's important to not gauge the officers' actions within the context of an ideal construct and to actually gauge their actions within the context of a rapidly evolving situation", Bard said. He added, "Cambridge affirms that Black Lives Matter, but it must be true in practice as well".

CORRECTION: An earlier draft of this story incorrectly identified Harvard University President Drew G. Faust as saying the incident was "a brutal instance of police violence". Ohene takes steps toward one of the officers and then is tackled from behind by another. One officer strikes him multiple times as he is down.

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Officers described their choice to take him down as a "tactical decision", but Ohene continued to struggle with officers while on the ground.

Editor's Note: This video contains scenes and explicit language that some may find disturbing.

"Each incident our officers are involved in presents an opportunity for evaluation and determination on what alternatives can be done in the future for the most optimal outcome", reads a joint statement issued by the City Manager and Police Commissioner, who promise to examine officer protocol moving forward. Once on the ground, officers were unable to gain compliance because the male contorted his body in a way that pinned his arms under his body and officers were unable to handcuff him.

Ohene is "currently recovering from the injuries sustained during his encounter with the Cambridge Police", according to a press release shared by his attorneys.

Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern called the video of the arrest showing Ohene being struck "disturbing" and promised that the results of the internal investigation will be made public.

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Ohene was also charged with assault and battery on an ambulance personnel after police said he spat a mixture of saliva and blood at an EMT.

The lawyers said it had been a trying ordeal for their client and his family, and they asked the public and the media to respect his privacy.

The Boston Globe reports that the Cambridge Police Department last updated their use of force policy in 2011. "If anyone's ever had to constrain an individual against their will, they'll know that it's a very hard thing to do".

The student group's description said "While on the ground, at least one officer repeatedly punched the student in his torso as he screamed for help. Shortly thereafter, firefighters came and cleaned up the blood with bleach and water".

McGovern went on to claim that policing in Cambridge "is far ahead of many communities across the country" and vowed that "as mayor, I will work with my colleagues to make sure that the horrific treatment of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement has no place in Cambridge".

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