A screenshot from Antonio's video, posted on YouTube. (YouTube screenshot)
DORCHESTER (WBZ-AM) -- After video of a testy exchange between a Dorchester man and a Boston Police officer was shared online, BPD Commissioner William Evans called the encounter a "teaching moment."
On WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Nightside with Dan Rea, Evans said he's seen the video, which shows the officer repeatedly asking Keith Antonio his name, where he lives, whether he has a job, and why he's out walking the streets in the middle of the day.
Keith Antonio claims he was targeted and harassed by the officer, who followed him in an unmarked SUV while he was walking to get his hair cut.
He filmed the encounter with his cellphone and believes he was targeted because of the color of his skin.
Evans said the situation could have been handled better.
"I wish the officer was a little more cordial there," he said.
At some point, Antonio gave the officer the finger and called him a pig.
Evans said the confrontation escalated when Antonio called the officer names.
"We try to teach our officers de-escalation, but I think he got the best of him," Evans said. "Thank God, the end, they both were able to walk away, and I think it's a good teaching moment."
He praised his officers for the work they do every day, and said the department would work with the officer in the video, calling that officer "a good kid."
WATCH Antonio's video (WARNING: contains crude and vulgar language):
He said that area, around Geneva Avenue, is dangerous--and said that's why the officer was on edge.
"Sometimes in an area like that, we watch for any type of activity that might be suspicious, and unfortunately, that interaction went bad."
Evans urged both sides to be respectful.
Boston Police told WBZ NewsRadio1030 that they're looking into the matter and are reviewing the video to see whether the officer involved violated any department rules.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports