BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Boston police sergeant has been placed on administrative leave as the department investigates bodycam video from the night of a protest on May 31st.
The footage of the officer was taken as thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Boston in response to the police-involved killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
On Saturday Dec. 18th, several hours of the footage from that evening were released by the website TheAppeal.org, which it said it obtained from an attorney representing some of the 53 protestors arrested that night.
In one clip, a police officer can be heard telling a fellow officer that he drove down Tremont Street in Boston, "hitting people" with his car.
The second officer then turns away, and informs the first officer that his body camera is on.
When he turns back, the first officer can be heard saying he knows the camera is on, and that he "didn't hit anybody," he was "just driving."
In a statement released late Saturday, BPD Commissioner William Gross said as soon as the videos were brought to his attention, he immediately ordered the Bureau of Professional Standards to open and conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the matter, and the totality of circumstances involved.
"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," Gross said. "I want to encourage people to bring these matters to our attention so that we can investigate them appropriately."
Mayor Marty Walsh said the video was "difficult to watch."
"This footage ... begs answers to many questions that I expect to be answered through an Internal Affairs investigation," Walsh said. "We never want to see police officers using more force than necessary, even when tensions are high."
The Appeal said it has shared parts of the footage with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who said "in her view, police behavior in the videos is indicative of the very issues that demonstrators were marching to bring attention to."
Written by Brit Smith